When my oldest daughter wed in a civil ceremony on the lawn of our municipal building a few years back, with the trees for her canopy and only her loving sibs and parents as witnesses, it seemed a really fitting choice for a young woman who seriously cares for the environment and celebrates simplicity, nature and modesty.
We couldn't have been more pleased with her choice (in spouse or location) and we secretly wished that other such joyous events could transpire with such a minimum of stress, pomp and waste.
Imagine our surprise yesterday when child 2 announced that he would be combining a visit to us with a similar request to wed; same location, same minimalist style.
Now, it is not that I condemn rituals or decry formal celebrations or imagine that the rest of the brood will follow suit in this exact manner, but there is something so eminently pure about the choices of these two siblings that I need to stop and acknowledge their courage in daring to be different and dispense with extravegance.
In these turbulent times of reckoning with the finite nature of the stuff of our planet, it is very refreshing to see young people choosing a method of commitment that doesn't entail inordinate amounts of waste. They have taught me to reexamine what tradition has schooled us to expect and instead of paroxysms of frenzied planning details, just delight in their assertion that such events needn't be extravagant to be meaningful.
They arrive the fourth of July and with them a declaration of independence from the dependence on wedding stuff. The fireworks are virtual.