Embracing Reality—and Mud—Is Better than Fighting it

We just had a fabulous wedding weekend at a place Margie and I call our “Farm” near Skaneateles Lake in upstate New York. The Farm is a five-acre plot of land, mostly lawn, with a house and a few outbuildings where we store family cars, boats, and other equipment when we aren’t in town.

Because of the beautiful view and the peaceful setting, our granddaughter, Hannah, and her devoted partner, Beth, decided the Farm was the perfect spot for their wedding and reception.

On the East Coast, the greatest unknown for summer weddings is the weather. It had been raining in central New York for almost two straight weeks and the forecast was for a wet wedding day. Our son, Scott, and daughter-in-law, Madeleine, not only had warned 130 guests to seriously consider their footwear, they had filled a big basket with Old Navy flip-flops for people to use and take home.

But on the day of the wedding, as our two families were gathering for pictures before the ceremony, the rain amazingly stopped. The sun gradually came out from behind the clouds during the reception—and the organizers opened the flaps of the big tent. This motivated a number of wedding guests to take off their shoes, walk out into the sunshine, and dance on the muddy grass! They had a ball and the rest of us had a lot of fun watching them.

In Scott’s words, “We were concerned that all the mud would dampen the fun. Instead, it had the opposite effect. Once the band started, people not only dealt with the mud, they embraced it. The dance floor spread from the tent to the muddy lawn. The way our guests danced in the mud was a beautiful demonstration of how resilient people can be when they decide to embrace, rather than fight, the reality they find themselves in. We had been so worried about the mud ruining the wedding—and yet the opposite occurred. No one will forget it.”

When I offered the prayer earlier at dinner, I emphasized one of my favorite sayings, “Love is the answer—what is the question?” The reason I did it was clear: all the festivities around this wedding were about love. Watching our families come together in such a joyous way was heartwarming. And there’s nothing more endearing than two people feeling unconditional love and support from their family and friends as they say their wedding vows. What a wonderful way to begin a new life together.

Whatever the question, love is the answer. And a little mud doesn’t hurt!

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