“I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.”
— The Doctor, Season 6, Episode 6
CHAPTER 41 – A Wedding (From The Book of Barkley by LB Johnson)
The house was decorated for the reception, a few friends and family gathered. The dining room held a cake that had on it, not a bride and groom, but a time traveling machine known as the Tardis and a Dr. Who and Amy figure from the BBC Sci -Fi series, Dr. Who. It is a non-conventional cake topper for a family that will be anything but conventional.
One in my bridal party is in a kilt, and I smile, this being a day of many surprises. I am in a Renaissance style wedding dress, MC is Maid Marion of Honor and Mr. B is the best man. The minister is a personal friend, a retired pastor and author, someone who understands words and emotions and hearts, marrying for himself for the first time in his fifties to a young lady, a pilot friend of mine, in her thirties.
There is no one else we’d rather have marry us.
Our wedding. It was not just a day; it was a decision, one we made together. We could embark on this journey, one that any statistic will tell you is a risk, or we could stay safe, keeping hearts in check, telling ourselves it’s probably for the best.
We wake to the earth’s silent ticking, chasing the time that is still unaccounted for, rushing headlong from nights of God's silence to days of great discovery. We can stay in, intact for one slow, sure, unremarkable day, gathering useless possessions and people around us, as what sparked our dream fades to an almost sleeping ember. For many people, that is their safety. We can just sit and talk about it, the changes we need to make, the things we wish we could do, but talk is just that, talk - arming ourselves with the satisfaction of courage without the inconvenience of risk. Or we can cast off our fear, gather those things around us that are precious, shedding that which only seeks to hinder us and head out into the world, eyes wide open.
What is ahead is unknown, often coming at us, so towering and fast, one can sense from it neither distance nor time. You can treat it with fear, no different than standing on the edge of a cliff, dreading that feeling as the ground falls away, the tiny rocks clamoring down like the first throw of dirt on a pine box. Or you can treat it as a perceived feast, as a wafer on the tongue, a leap of faith into that place that is devoid of time and regret, while that which held you back runs somewhere far afield, away from soundless guns.
I know where my home is at, and it's not four walls. I know who my friends are and they could care less about the things I own, where I live, or how old I am. As I look at my husband, at a photo of a big black dog in a frame, I know I have the comfort of a life in which, if only for a moment, I meant the absolute world to someone. That is something you can never buy, like the heat of steady flame that warms you from the inside out.
As the vows echoed in a room full of happy toasts, stories were told of Barkley, how he brought all of us together, of those he has healed and bonded. For we are his pack, as we are each others, love being, not a journey, but something that gently brings us back home.