It was Saturday, and so
there was a wedding in the garden. But this one was a little different. As I
walked out the atrium doors and entered the garden, I met a middle-aged man,
with salt-and-pepper hair, whom I now believe to have been the groom. What tipped me off? He was dressed in a formal suit and was wearing a flower in his
lapel. It seemed a dead giveaway.
As I walked past him, I
asked what time the wedding would be. Mygoal was to get in and out of the wedding garden before it started. Not
knowing this, he looked at me doubtfully, as if to say, "Who the heck are you?"
o’clock,” he replied out loud, clearly puzzled as to why I wanted to know this.
“Ah,” I said, lifting my
camera to reassure him as why I was in the garden. “Then I have lots of time.” Finally realizing that I was not paparazzi, he smiled, and I went on my way.
Allium "Star of Persia." By Divine Ms. Moon.
After a few preliminary
stops among the allium and the dogwoods, I moved into the wedding garden, where
I began circling the outer perimeter to photograph the peonies.
Peony. By Divine Ms. Moon
After a few minutes, the
wedding party began to assemble. The man with the salt-and-pepper hair seemed
to play a major role in getting things organized. A musician arrived soon afterwards. He was another middle-aged, but balding
man, in a blue shirt and khakis, wielding an electric guitar and a rather
powerful speaker system. After speaking for a few moments with the man I had originally encountered, he began to warm up.
His first selection was John Denver's "Annie’s Song."
"You fill up my senses
Like a night in the forest,
Like the mountains in spring time,
Like a walk in the rain ...."
While I certainly admired
the choice for a garden wedding, the music also clearly pegged the newlyweds as being
somewhere within my own generation.
Sentimental tears began to overflow. I sat alone under an arbor at the edge of the wedding garden and just listened, a little embarrassed to be an intruder into someone else's happiness. I made my escape just as guests began to arrive. As I walked away, I heard that song again --
"Come let me love you, Let me give my life to you, Let me drown in your laughter Let me die in your arms ...."
Sometime later, the wedding party
began to disperse into small groups that wandered around the garden. Standing in
front of a rugosa rose bush, I thought how appropriate that the most hardy
of roses should bloom for this wedding.
Rugosa rose. By Divine Ms. Moon
And I knew that, in the wedding garden, there were peonies, petunias, pansies, stocks,
and many other flowers to fill the senses with color and fragrance. For a brief moment, I
closed my eyes and imagined that it had been my wedding. It was simple, but it