The wedding photographer who came to take photos of my daughter, Jocelyn’s wedding said, “This is the least stressed out wedding that I’ve ever photographed.” It is a comment that struck me as odd because I was feeling a lot of stress, but the comment has continued to shimmer within me, and I have to attribute our seemingly “stressed less” evaluation to the spirit of InterPlay. Through the years I’ve learned a bit about ‘improvisation” and although some of this wedding was quite well planned other pieces, like the location, were decided a couple of hours before the rehearsal on Friday night with the wedding looming on Saturday morning.
The problem with my daughter’s decision to get married on a mountain top was that there are many mountain tops and many locations on a mountain top. Choosing the perfect one is difficult…and the other issue is that snow is a common occurrence on mountain tops, so it is difficult to plan a specific location until all of the snow melts. When we arrived on Tuesday, June 17th to six beautiful newly fallen inches of snow and power lines down on the driveway cutting off electricity to our cabin, improvisation skills became important! (What have I been practicing and teaching in InterPlay classes for years? Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh! Shake it out!) Then we began looking for what we could create with. What did this cabin have that might help us weather the evening without power? (It’s about what a body can do! I also knew that witnessing is an important element so I posted a photo of my situation on Facebook! The responses were comforting…not being alone in my story increased my resolve to be creative. And taking photos helped me witness the weather with a smile of irony. Snow in June? Really?) We had a gas stove…so there was a light source and we could boil water and heat up soup. The people who owned the cabin checked on us by phone, and they gave us clues to where a flashlight was hidden. They informed us that there were down comforters on the bed that could help us stay warm. I had brought a couple of candles that I thought might become part of the wedding…but instead they provided another light source for the evening. There was a bed and breakfast nearby that still had power, so we took our electronic devices there to get recharged and to hang out for awhile. We could listen to podcasts and read to each other from our Kindles.
Luckily within two days the power was on, and the snow had mostly melted. Now we just needed to shop for food for the reception….and find the all important wedding location! When InterPlayer, CathyAnn Beaty, arrived the day before the wedding and the location was still in question, we got creative together and started exploring possible choices. (Having a partner to play with always makes things more fun!) CathyAnn noticed that the cabin had a lovely little backyard location next to a creek, and she could visualize having a beautiful wedding there. She shared her vision with the stressed out couple when they arrived, and our location was finally settled about an hour before people arrived for the rehearsal. (Whee! The practice of easy focus helped us all agree on a spot that wasn’t quite what the bride had envisioned, but was beautiful, private, and readily available.)
As the wedding day unfolded people seemed to practice “affirmation” even though this wedding didn’t quite follow the traditions of what they may have expected. Many people commented about how beautiful the service and surroundings were. We all practiced looking for the good as the day went on. The weather was beautiful; the picnic area Jocelyn had hoped to use had been vacated just in time for our picnic lunch; the cabins although rather small provided a beautiful place for guests to have dinner, enjoy each others company, and congratulate the newlyweds. We used “incrementality” as we planned and prepared food for the reception and put out the decorations. Lots of people unexpectedly offered to help at the last minute. We practiced “ecstatic following” as both families came together to create a joyous and memorable day for Jocelyn and Josiah! (This “mother of the bride” is giving thanks for all the community support I received from InterPlayers and family and friends, far and near, and for the wisdom and grace that transformed a stress-filled situation into moments of grace…thanks to InterPlay!)