It wasn’t my normal route for a bike ride, but I’m nursing a broken rib from a tumble last week so this week I’m taking it a bit easier. Not one to wallow in my pain, i decided on a casual ride last night, just to loosen up a bit. There’s a new Thai restaurant the wife and I have been meaning to try, so I decided a quick quiet ride along side streets to pick up a menu was precisely what the doctor should have ordered.
There are times in the city when a body feels like they are fighting everyone and everything. Every so often there are moments in which the city feels like home. People smile and say hello, acknowledge each other as neighbors. And there are moments wholly unexpected and magical. Last night was one of those moments.
It couldn’t have been a more perfect evening. There was a soft cool breeze off the lake, and the scent of charcoal barbecues seemed to filter through fat full green trees whispering in the breeze, their deep shade gathering in the failing light. Sunlight, deepening to a rich golden hue bled in moments through the trees, falling upon random scenes, as if drawing importance to things too often overlooked. One beam fell upon a curious street corner scene. I swung the bike to the curb. I could not have arrived at a more perfect moment.
“… therefore,” said the tall silver-haired Pastor, dressed simply in a brown sports coat and slacks, “before this motley bunch, I pronounce you man and wife!” Turning slightly to the young groom he concluded with a chuckle, “Now do your duty!”
Beneath a Stop and No Parking sign, as a moving van rumbled past, honking its horn jubilantly, the wedding goers erupted in applause as the bride and groom kissed sweetly. A couple paused from a bike ride, while neighbors watched from their porches. Even I was almost overcome in the moment, unable to contain a joyfully laugh.
Already the light was drifting away from the moment, filtering ever weaker among the white clothed tables set up upon neighboring lawns. Sunflowers adorning each table in simple mason jars, each with a single bottle of red wine seemed to hold the last daylight as the newlyweds climbed the steps of the church, posing for pictures and waving to the cheers of the fifty or so guests.
Not wanting to intrude, I retreated from the scene feeling blessed and enlivened for sharing, even distantly in all this. It isn’t important for the story who they are, or why they set upon reciting their vows on the corner, as if it was some sort of street theater. It was the moment. It is always about the moment.