On a beautiful summer day some years ago, I officiated a vow renewal for a couple who had mentioned to me that they wanted this vow renewal as they had just gone through one of those “very rough patches” that almost ended their marriage. As part of their renewed vows and renewed deep contemplation on the meaning of their unique marriage, they asked me to read this. I do not know the author. It sure touched me and brought about further contemplation. It may also touch you!
“You can connect from all kinds of places – energetic harmony, sexual alchemy, intellectual alignment – but they won’t sustain love over a lifetime. You need a thread that goes deeper, that moves below and beyond the shifting sands of compatibility. That thread is fascination – a genuine fascination with someone’s inner world, the way they organize reality, the way they articulate their feelings, the unfathomable and bottomless depths of their being. To hear their beingness cry out to you again and again, and to never lose interest in what it is trying to convey. If there is that, then there will still be love when the body sickens, when the sexuality fades, when the perfection projection is long shattered. If there is that, you will swim in love’s waters until the very last breath.
Swans Mate for Life – Symbolizing Our Human Ideal of Marriage
One of the first parts of a great wedding ceremony is expressing the couple’s ideal of their marriage; what their intentions are. How do they see their marriage, their vision of being together. In other words, how do they see love between the two of them and their joined life. This is a great contemplation and dialogue for any couple considering making this life long commitment.
As I reflect and contemplate marriages I admire, one particular characteristic comes to mind’s view; the respect each has for the other as a good, true human being. This of course develops over years of marriage and many experiences, both positive and negative. In my personal observances along with couples personal stories shared, it is the so called “not so good times”, getting through these times with honesty, integrity and humility, that develop deep respect for one another. When one sees their partner “digging deep” to become a better person, after recognition of “missing the mark”, and their sincere willingness to move into and manifest a higher point of view and higher behavior, a deeper admiration for the one they love continues to develop into true respect.
In my observation and reflection it is this” loving respect” that is what one can see in the togetherness of a couple who have been married for many years. That beautiful adoring way they still reach for each other in their touch, their voice, and their focused eye contact, even while dining out, or hand in hand walking into Home Depot.
Many say that marriage is hard work. I have come to admire that marriage, a good marriage, is one of the most creative endeavors we humans can choose, if both in the marriage “consciously choose” to be responsible for their individual “creating” daily.
Santa Fe is one of the most appreciated locations for a destination wedding or elopement. I have always believed that one of the unspoken reasons is It’s “intimacy”. Many couples have met here, become engaged here, have had memorable adventures while traveling through. One of the couple may have spent precious moments of their lives growing up here and moving on, or coming for holidays with family and friends. What makes our city named The City Different, “intimate”?
I would say “she”, Santa Fe, “City of Faith”, reaches out to create a very personal relationship with each visitor and resident. We still look up to the tourquoise blue sky with awe, knowing even on the coldest of days it will bring a peaceful smile. Our Mountains are our refuge for a walk or climb, exercise for our dogs and ourselves, personal contemplation time, and closeness to our Creator through nature. Nature continues to reveal her beauty and splendor to many atop our ski basin and the sense of “flying” through her gifted “powder”. And rainbows; well, we still call/text our family and friends to “look up” and count our blessings. Our great St. Francis Cathedral, centered in our downtown, opens its doors to all, welcoming for a liturgy, an afternoon alone meditation or a Christmas community concert. On St. Francis’ sacred name-day the priest comes out to bless our pets! We are of many faiths and no faith, many cultures and chosen lifestyles, of economic and educational backgrounds and choices up and down the ladder. Our many and varied restaurants, coffee houses and lodging are a reflection of this diversity. You will find, upon investigation, that our wedding venues are just as unique and offer many style choices, historic and contemporary.
I guess you could label us “diverse proud”, even though we are still aware we can always do better in this area. We welcome our guests to come “fit” right in with us, and we want you to feel at home! We want your wedding whether large or just the two of you to have in its reality and memory the feeling of this “intimacy” which is one of the reasons why many of us just can’t think of another place we would prefer to live!