I’ve been away a week to give away my older daughter Molly in marriage to her beau Rama. What a joyful break it was, far from the madding crowd, Charlottesville, and North Korea. A bonus for me was being appointed Official Poet for the ceremony, and I here include my contribution in words to accompany some "sneak peek" official wedding photos that record the happiest of days.
Befitting two spiritual grandchildren of John Muir, Molly and Rama chose to marry in the wilds of California. Well, call it semi-wild...on a Fort Bragg bluff looking down on the Pacific blue crashing into white on the rocks below.
By chance, without foreknowledge, Molly and Rama chose as their get-hitched date August 12, which happened to be the 32nd anniversary of Timarie’s and my own marriage. That was in Ireland, in Sligo, during the Yeats Festival of 1985, in a modest ceremony. Timarie had recruited the best man and matron of honor in a pub the night before. The following morning they joined the photographer and our friend, Father David O'Connell, in an intimate wedding, at which I read this Yeats poem:
HE WISHES FOR THE CLOTHS OF HEAVEN
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
Nine months and one day later Molly Margaret Meyer was born. I emphasize the timing because I want to assure you this honeymoon baby was legal. More important, though I had three grown sons, my first daughter was also the first baby I was allowed to see born. What a soul-shaking experience! I was so moved I went home and wrote the following verse of welcome:
What a happy day in May
When little Molly Margaret
Came to us to stay,
Not trailing clouds of glory
But love to show the way.
Little Molly Margaret,
How trippingly off the tongue
Spring those words for this elfin girl
Whose time on earth has come.
I say her violet eyes
Are two of one of a kind,
And the smiles I give her now
She’ll one day repay in kind.
Molly, dear, born this day,
Putty wonder from my clay,
Teach me to know anew
The human heart at play.
I read that greeting as a bridge to the Fort Bragg wedding day of Molly and Rama. The one below preceded the actual exchange of vows.
WED THIS DAY
Lady Molly Margaret,
To Rama wed this sylvan day,
May you walk long linked as one
Through the forest of the light,
The tiger kept in view and at bay
As you see to your own symmetry.
May wonders always seize your eyes,
Mindful always the journey is the prize.
Love with laughs works best to see you through.
With trees and words, blooms and song,
And with what issue might come along,
That love will only grow.
Yesterday I still felt the afterglow of witnessing as promising a match between a man and a woman as I ever hope to know. Today I’m back in the unreal reality of our time, watching the rapid descent of our own Caligula into total madness. We must keep smiling through the dire spectacle. Doesn’t hope still hide in Pandora’s jar?