This painting tells a story. It is a story of Love. Family. Friends. Marriage. Union. Communion. Hearts intertwining and lives weaving together to form a beautiful, vibrant tapestry of life today and everyday.
It is the painting my beloved and I created, along with our family and friends who had come together on this day, five years ago, to celebrate our union in marriage.
The day began with pouring rain. Cats and dogs as they say.
I was disappointed. We’d chosen Bench 1775 Winery in Naramata, BC because of their deck overlooking Okanagan Lake and the incredible views it offered of the vineyards, the lake and the surrounding mountains.
By 11am I had to make the decision — we would not be getting married on the deck. We’d have to set-up in the tasting room and the tent we’d had erected for the occasion.
By 2pm everything was ready and I raced back to Therapy Vineyards Guesthouse, where we were staying, to get ready. (I know. I left it kind of late but I really wanted everything to look ‘just so’, even if we weren’t going to be out on the deck).
While Charles and his son got ready at the Bench, my two daughters, step-daughter and I laughed and drank champagne as we got dressed at Therapy. The girls did each other’s make-up and mine. Ross, our photographer quietly took photos and Tim, C.C. and my best man, ensured we had everything we needed. Though, getting to the ‘deck’ on time was not high on the agenda, we definitely had fun and were looking ‘smokin’ hot’ by the time we were ready to go.
At quarter to four, the time we were supposed to leave to get to the ‘church’ on time for a 4pm wedding, we still weren’t quite ready. I jokingly said it was, ‘my day’ and I’d be late if I wanted to! (queue It’s my party… though the only thing I would have possibly cried about on that day was the weather but even it seemed to be lifting the shroud of grey and mist that had enveloped the lake and valley all day).
At 10 to 4 a friend text me from Bench 1775 where our guests were all seated, inside, waiting for the big moment. Three simple words. “The sun’s out.” Followed by a series of smiley face emoticons.
I promptly text back. “Tell them to move the chairs outside.”
Momentary silence. And then she text back. “Ok. Done.”
She stood up, called out to the 50+ people gathered for the celebration and said, “Louise wants to move the wedding outside. Everybody pick up your chair and move!”
And so they did. Amidst lots of laughter and shaking of their heads and possibly a few, “Seriously? What on earth is she thinking?”
Five years later, that day is still indelibly written on my memory. It was a day of laughter, joy, friendship and familial bonds shining in the sunlight that streamed in through a gap in the mountains lining the lake on the western side.
It was a day of vows committed beneath a cerulean sky dotted with fluffy white clouds, vows that continue to reflect and inform and enrich our marriage today.
It was a day to say, I Do.
As I sit in our home today, I feel the power of that ‘I Do’ resonating throughout my being. There is no one I’d rather be sequestered in solitude with during this time of Covid’s forced isolation.
While this virus might be coursing around the globe, our home is filled with the love and wonder of that day. It is imbued with the spirit of the hearts of everyone who gathered together to witness, to celebrate, to share, to dance and laugh and… to create an Image of Love with C.C. and me.
The painting we collectively created hangs on the wall as you enter our front door. It is a reminder of the one thing that endures, sustains. nourishes and abides no matter the weather or the times, no matter how dark or easy the path, no matter where in the world we are.