I recently attended a wedding. It was the marriage of two of my daughter’s best friends from high school who had been promised to each other for years. They had patiently waited for their wedding day. The bride is a beautiful equestrian and is pursuing a Master’s in equine everything (yes, that’s a degree). The groom is an actor and filmmaker who, in my opinion, will be a household name before he is done (see Coppola, Spielberg, Scorsese). The two of them have been committed to each other for years but were too young to marry when they first fell in love. They dated all through high school and into college. Finally their time had come and this marriage was a much anticipated event.
The sweetest thing to me was that the tight-knit group of best friends from high school – we called them “The Fellowship”- were all able to be there. One of the guys even helped officiate the ceremony, returning from military service in Korea to do so. The band of kids who used to like to go to the park and swing on the swing sets were now supporting the launch of two of them into a beautiful life together.
The wedding was at a horse farm which was an appropriate setting for this equestrian bride. Mounted riders directed you to the event, a field of horses provided the backdrop with a beautiful barn in the distance. After the ceremony they even had horse rides for those who were brave enough to climb aboard in their wedding attire. The weather proved a perfect summer’s night. The reception was banked behind a picturesque pond with weeping willows that danced in the breeze. The food, the band, the fellowship – it was delightful.
As I watched the evening progress I was struck with a realization. When we do well at being who we are, when we bring the fullness of ourselves and our hearts, when we usher in life by being abandoned to the moment – we bring Joy to everyone around us. I watched in wonder as each one of these kids that I had known and loved as teenagers were bringing their strength and heart to this important event. Some were bridesmaids and groomsmen, some were guests of honor, but all were there to celebrate and endorse their dear friends.
These kids are all living out their lives in extraordinary ways. The bride and groom are both pursuing their passions and they support each other beautifully in those pursuits. Others of the group are in bands and touring the country making music and bringing joy. One young man is in service to our country as a soldier; still others are following their dreams via the college route. One girl is spending her summer in China. They are all doing what they were born to do and living life from their hearts.
My favorite moment of the whole evening was this – as the reception began there was that same awkward moment that every wedding has when no one is dancing yet and no one knows exactly how to “get the party started” so to speak. It takes that one brave soul to unleash the “party” in everyone. Out of the corner of my eye I saw two brothers rise and move to the dance floor. In a brief moment they had managed to first lead the group in a sing-along which quickly spun into a dancing frenzy. These boys are magical in the way they can be in the moment and welcome everyone into their happiness. Before you knew what was happening the brothers had everyone engaged. It was a swirling cloud of joy!
I was spellbound, caught up in the wonder of it. It was a moment I will not soon forget – a reminder that it matters, every day is an opportunity, each of us can make a difference with the Joy We Bring!
The post is written in honor of “The Fellowship”, some of the dearest and most amazing people in my life. Long live The Fellowship!!
Check out the groom in this amazing short film which he produced and stars in. It incorporates the behind-the-scenes talents of a number of The Fellowship including his wife.
You can change the world with the joy you bring!