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Married in The Mountain

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Sep. 20th, 2015 | 09:20 pm
location: Portland, Oregon
music: Elis Regina

Mariella and I got married yesterday.

Our wedding was lovely, the ceremony was spectacular with Wahclella Falls behind and supporters surrounding, and the sunny picnic reception that followed was great.  Kids were running around joyously, folks were chatting happily, and public onlookers had sweet smiles upon seeing our party. Tall Douglas Fir trees shaded our area, letting glittering sun beams strike the surroundings, soft grass below encouraged shoes to come off, and the bossa nova and bachatta music playing in the background encouraged cheerful, slow dancing for all ages.  A tamale lunch and cheesecake dessert made for a delicious, filling meal, and everything went smoothly with help from all.

The day happened to start out later than expected due to morning preparation issues, but that calmed down on the 45-minute drive to the mountains, and even more so during the 1-mile hike into the waterfall.  The pathway goes over mildly forested hills, and provides views of running rivers with spawning salmon, high mountain walls, and thousands of big leaf maples, cedars, and hemlocks.  All those attending kindly awaited our arrival to hike in with us, gently chatting with us along the way.

The officiant seemed peaceful when we showed up 45 minutes late, perhaps transfixed by the powerful environment of the rushing waterfall, huge, moss-covered boulders, and deep pond 100 feet beneath our chosen spot.  We stood just below the officiant as he gave his heart-warming speech, the waterfall to his back, the people circling around to his front, and us in between.  The group easily situated into convenient spots on the rocks, and later reports let us know that we were even loud enough to allow all to hear our spoken words over the crashing water.

"We are here today before the majesty and beauty of the falls to celebrate the joining of Brian and Mariella.  They have cultivated their love for one another from the jungles of Peru to the rainforests of Oregon and when tested or confused both Brian and Mariella turn to nature for balance and to keep their hearts open so it is fitting that we celebrate here.

“When two people join in marriage, as Brian and Mariella, we see the love, friendship, and joy ~ within them, as well as within their beloved family and friends. We hear their earnest vows, their heartfelt pledges and their words of deepest commitment, which sanctify their love.

“Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and your needs must have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
And a song of praise on your lips.

“Brian and Mariella, treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives -- remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

“Brian do you accept Mariella as your wife — joining with her today in matrimony — offering your friendship and loving care — honoring her growth and freedom as well as your own — cherishing and respecting her, loving and embracing her in times of adversity and times of joy?"

"I do."

“Do you Mariella, accept Brian as your husband — joining with him today in matrimony — offering your friendship and loving care — honoring his growth and freedom as well as your own – cherishing and respecting him, loving and embracing him in times of adversity and times of joy?"

"I do."

"Vows like those you are about to make have been spoken by men and women throughout the ages as a pledge of faith selflessness and love to each other.  They represent your personal commitment to put forth your best efforts to make your marriage a union of happiness, trust, honesty, support, and friendship.
Brian, please say your vows to Mariella."

“Baby, I want to marry you.  The peace of this place reflects the peace you bring to my heart.  The strength of these mountains reflects the life force you put into my spirit.  With you by my side I feel like I can jump from peak to peak.
The way we motivate each other when we're sluggish, ground each other when uncautious, and balance practicality with style makes us a partnership that I love, and want to cherish.  I want to marry you to hold you close in the evening, share achievements in the day time, and laugh together throughout.  I want to marry you to make you happy, bring sweetness and strength into your life, and light up the world with our happiness.”

“Mariella, please say your vows to Brian.”

“My love, with the blessings from the spirits of this mountain and the healing whispers from the plants, I will be your partner.  We have many upcoming experiences in life, and I know they will help us grow as partners and human beings.  I know they will make us wise and ever more united.  I want to be your wife for all my days, and share our happiness with our family and future children.”

“Brian and Mariella, look at the hands you are holding.  These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day

“These are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.

“These are the hands that will hold your child for the first time.

“These are that hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

“These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy

“These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief wrack your mind.

“These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times

“These are hands that will soon wear your wedding rings.

“The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond which unites two loyal hearts in love and affection.  May the rings you have chosen always remind you of the vows you take today.

“Brian, please place Mariella’s ring on her left ring finger and say these words to her, “I give you this ring as a token of my love.  May it always remind you of the commitment I make today.

“Mariella, please place Brian’s ring on his left ring finger and say these words to him, “I give you this ring as a token of my love.  May it always remind you of the commitment I make today.

“Brian and Mariella, may the sun bring you new energies by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away any worries you may have, And the breeze blow new strength into your being. And then, all the days of your life, may you walk gently through the world, and know its beauty and yours.

“You have expressed your love to one another through the commitment and promises that you have made today, and it is with these in mind that I now pronounce that you are husband and wife.

“You may seal your vows with a kiss.

“Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years. May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great joy to introduce for the first time as husband and wife, Brian and Mariella Landever!”

We feel happy and blessed to have gone through this ceremony in such a powerful location.  Connecting to the loud roar of the falls with the gentle whispers of rattling leaves seemed to make it easier to feel alive, confident, and in love.  The radiance of the day still feels as if it warmed us, now 24 hours later.

The reception collected blessing as well.  In addition to a lovely setting, my brother, Matt, gave a warm speech that seemed to call nature’s response.  Several words in, a Great Blue Heron flew onto a branch 30 feet above our circle, and peered down on us from that point onwards in the event.  We were surrounded by love, and it’s that which we want to share with the world.

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Comments {1}

Your wedding

from: anonymous
date: Sep. 21st, 2015 03:03 pm (UTC)

Dear Brian and Mariella,

What a beautiful ceremony! It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart to hear the description and hear the words that were spoken. Thank you for sharing that with those of who could not be present at the occasion. I look forward to celebrating with you both in the future!

BTW, I did make an announcement of your wedding at the Harvest of Peace celebration.


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