I married my sister.
Actually I officiated her marriage to her husband, Jeremy on our family farm. I was so very nervous - that centre stage thing again - it was beautiful, poignant, natural and I loved every minute of it. And I’m pleased to say I’ve done 2 unions since and a naming ceremony. Thrilling!
On the morning walk, in Flore, I passed the incredible garden of the second wedding. I remember every detail. It was gorgeous: two tall tipis, holding court to a babbling brook soothing its way past. The flower-laden arbour facing straw bale seating matched the natural foliage surrounding the garden, and there was a soft rain.
Scrreech, whoa wait… rain?
What bride hopes for rain? For an outdoor wedding?
Well this bride was no different, and at the rehearsal was pretty upset about the intended weather. And I did something pretty silly… I promised her it would stop.
To quiet her waterworks, I promised to turn off Mother Nature’s.
This brings me to the power of intention and the multitude of will and belief. I’m big on manifestation. I used visualisation all through my competitive career.
It only worked, though, if I truly, and I mean down-to-the-core believed it.
One ounce of doubt and poof! it was gone in the wind.
As part of my belief system, it is Give and Take. If you ask for something, you better be ready to give. And I don’t mean this in a loan shark, mafia kind of way. It’s about keeping balance, not monetarily, but spiritually.
This gift can be in helping others when it’s time.
It can be acknowledging something of yourself that needs to change for the better to make things around you better. It can be the promise of taking more time to appreciate that and those around you. In essence, it’s time for others and our environment. If you’re asking for help, you better be willing to give it. You need to pay the piper.
So there I was alone, under the awning of this grand tipi, looking up at the clouds with this promise heavy on my shoulders. To hopefully lighten the mood, I had told the bridal party that I was off to go do the needed sun dance.
I wasn’t dancing, although I was about to try anything at this point.
I closed my eyes, and remembered how in that moment of me promising Laura her dry ceremony, the conviction I felt. That fleeting instant where I was in control of the weather, where there was no doubt in my mind that the rain was going to stop at 2pm for her arrival. That tiny moment when Doubt was on a smoke break.
I saw it.
I felt it.
I hung on to it for dear life.
I saw an end to end rainbow and drops on the leaves.
I saw water shed from the bales of straw.
I saw the green grass, heavy with moisture, stand tall to meet our feet.
I saw the Sun in his basking glow.
I opened my eyes. It was Showtime!
I went to the back to meet the bride’s car. She looked at me and then a quick look to the skies, and I said, ‘just breathe. Your day has come and you will be honoured and surrounded by love.’
I think she stopped listening to me at the word ‘breathe’ as her dress had a pretty serious corset and the car ride was not fun.
And just as her father was getting out the umbrellas, the rain stopped. Like a tap being turned off, it halted. The sun, as promised, broke through. She looked at me in amazement. I smiled a slow grin, ‘See? Told you not to worry.’
The ceremony was beautiful, honest, and heartfelt (I love it when the groom cries). Everyone congregated by the brook for photos and then left to the tipi to let the wedding party to do their poses.
As the last of the couple photos were being taken a subtle mist began, not so detectable as rain but the promise of it. It was then the rainbow appeared: end to end arcs of colour.
The photographer was going crazy, running around like a headless chicken trying to get all angles before the heavens opened. And opened they did.
As I now walk past the vast lawn again, tipis replaced by football nets and golf course flags, I’m reminded how I felt in that moment of sheer balance and control, of a focus so keen not felt since my Olympic trials, I think I may have found my meditative nugget, my anchor point, my rainbow in the rain.
And if you’re left there wondering if I truly stopped the rain that day…..there’s no doubt about it.
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