As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
- Psalms 104.3
This weekend there were four weddings I was invited to. FOUR! What is it about the second week of September? As it turns out, everything! The most beautiful, balmy weather... all sunshine and summer. But you know how it is with weddings - numbers! And a guest like myself is hopeless. I never know how I'll be nearer the date, so I am always amazed and flattered to be invited, and then horribly woebegone because I cannot RSVP with any confidence. In Grenobles, Letchworth, Cornwall and Manchester, confetti has been flung and vows exchanged. In Cambridge, a little tired from hospital shenanigans, I received a card from Teresa, a Twitter friend, which made me laugh and the words inside energised me so much, that instead of bemoaning my fate, I decided to have a Day Out.
Chocolate ice-cream in my paw, I trotted along, avoiding the patter of the punt sales, stopping to listen to Besame Mucho crooned by a busker, taking in the glorious sights of The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China at the Fitz (the jade! the dancing clay figurines! the wickedly nifty museum guards who watched me like a hawk so I couldn't take a single sneaky picture!) and then, would you believe, I saw a newly married couple! You do have to peer through the gates of Peterhouse, and down to the archway, but still! A sighting!
Buoyed up, I spent the loveliest time in Little St Mary's Church (my father's favourite church) and the chapel at Pembroke.
Psalm 104 was open at St Mary's and Mum read a passage aloud while the sun poured through the stained glass...
and really, it felt as though I was at each September wedding, at the important part, the vow to remember that although we commit to love each other truly, this day too, like all others, shall pass like the wind over grass, and so we must treasure each other until the wind knows us no more.
Which is really what the Dear Parents do... they know how to treasure each other. Tonight they have swanned off to a wedding reception, sari and suit bedecked, while I, Cinders, tug my forelock and sweep and clean and cook... ah! 'tis a weary life I lead... (er... well... or I might just watch the new episode of Downton Abbey snuggled up with a mug of tea!).