Dazzling with its crisp clarity in the cold stillness, the light of a winter afternoon’s sun rested with awesome majesty at the top of the mountain’s white world. Limitless and free, it played host over the immediate and the vast, welcoming all to a setting both breathtaking and natural in its absolute splendour. The air all around us was clean and alive, filled with promises and more: there was a tangible, breathable presence, a spiritual awareness that connected each of us to the other. Love was in the air, and it was the first of the invited guests to arrive.
A wedding took place recently. Two wonderful and extraordinary people chose to be married on their mountain, with their friends and families, and in their love. A not-so-unusual occurrence, unless you were there to feel it. And there were two hundred or so of us who did feel it. From the moment we reached the summit and made our way through freshly-packed snow paths to the warm wood and glass-paneled reception lodge, each of us seemed completely filled, replete with joy and anticipation. Smiling faces all around were proof that we’d left the structure and the stresses of our everyday lives back at home, at the bottom of the mountain. We were at a new place, part of a new beginning and in a new moment that truly came alive on the top of this mountain.
The ceremony itself was held outdoors on a small and snowy ridge. Beyond the ridge, the guests experienced a panoramic view of the range of silent and eternal mountain sentinels leading away to the infinite horizon– the backdrop perfect for a pledge of infinite and eternal love. The bride made her way through the crowd of guests, radiating her happiness and trailing a long white gown across the snowy ground and joined her groom, a man filled with the tumult of overflowing emotion. With tall cedar trees on either side as their witnesses, in a few brief, tear-filled minutes, both declared their happiness, passion and commitment to each other with deep love in their voices.
Something happened while we were watching: something magical. The separate individuals who had all walked out into the whiteness melted into each other, our differences no longer visible. We became a collective One, this eclectic group of professionals, business executives and entrepreneurs, the old and the young, athletes and artists and humanitarians. A spell was cast over us, an enchantment that swirled and blew around us like a sudden gentle flurry, lifting and transporting us to a higher ground. The merely ordinary was transcended and moved to a pinnacle; softly, surely, we were given a glimpse of the Divine.
And then it was over, although it had just begun. Back indoors we went to the warmth. Back to a comfortable reality, with food and drink and the intrigues of ordinary mortals.
We sat in a grove of round tables with our lives, and our loves, a kaleidoscope of relationships. There were the new couples, inching and tumbling towards each other, discovering their depths and their boundaries. There were the committed couples, newly engaged and newly married, secure in their whispered corrections and unabashed in their endearments. There were long-time couples, those who felt free to roam the evening and then return to their own past, present and future with the one partner who knew, and would always know, all of their lines. And there were the wannabe couples, those willing to live volatile mistakes for a chance to fast-track around the dance floor, a chance to feel the love for themselves.
We spent the evening together. We ate, we danced, we talked, we laughed. We even sang, but only because the bride and groom wouldn’t kiss if we didn’t. We listened to speeches of admiration and devotion describing what this special couple meant to us all and toasted them for it. We jostled and jumped to be the ‘next’ one, the one who would catch the tossed bouquet and we finished every single slice of the blue marzipan and deep chocolate wedding cake. We celebrated with abandon. We celebrated with Love. And we captured it all on video.
An explosion of brilliant fireworks was set off on the quiet and steadfast mountain. In the dark whiteness, the colours mingled and ricocheted, painting the night with jewelled richness. It was a tribute to the day. It was a tribute to the bride’s wish that there be fireworks to mark their wedding – the good kind, the best kind. It was a very powerful display of what love and relationships are – wonder and anticipation, exuberance and colour, appreciation and unpredictability, and loud, raucous noise and the silences in between.
The mountain keeps its promises. Still and enduring, natural and endlessly beautiful, it promises that love lives, always, at the top, ephemeral and pure. Love is a constant, a companion and a natural guide. And from that mountain you have a promise to see more: to see that love is limitless, eternal and filled with light. It’s a dazzling prospect.
Janelle Hoddevik is a freelance writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org