Sunday, October 10, 2010


"I'm looking forward to the drive to Canberra. It's been a while since we've done that trip" announced K unexpectedly during the week.

The wedding was yesterday and we drove down in the early afternoon. As always there is something magnetic about Lake George, drawing the eyes to it, and keeping them searching, peering across it, that strange perspective where you imagine you can just see the extent of it but deep down know that you can't. Perhaps it has something to do with the suddenness and vastness of the flat valley and that there's rarely any water to be seen in it, ever. And then you swing up over the hills, leaving it behind feeling you haven't really seen it at all.

A large number of wind turbines stand on its southeastern edge, poised ready to march forward spinning their giant blades across the lush green carpet stretching out in front of them. Only one looked to be turning, slowly, slowly. Later in the evening I would be seated next to a nephew (-in-law). He is about to have installed a large number of these generators on his property, fully funded apparently by a Chinese consortium. 'They're taking us over' he would declare during dinner, while happily pocketing $8,000 pa per unit, with assured CPI. Just for having them there.

I'm not mad on weddings. But this whole affair was quite touching not the least of it being that K and I had been invited, despite the connection being somewhat remote. The bride was my great niece, the daughter of a niece, the daughter of my eldest (and closest in kind) sister. She, the bride, is particularly beautiful, petite, jet black hair (mothers side) and bondi-blue eyes (fathers side) so deeply set in her perfectly shaped face that when you engage with them they seem to have a light of their own from another place altogether. Her beau I'd first met when he drove his then girlfriend down from Armidale for her great grandmother's (my mother) funeral. He came to the family dinner the night before, came to the funeral, and came home with us all afterwards. He was neither intrusive nor awkward outsider. He was there, with her, but also with us.

And now we, the odd couple, were at their wedding. The bridegroom, the handsome young man from Armidale, gave the last speech. He opened by declaring he wasn't nervous (unlike previous speakers) and that in fact he hadn't been nervous all day. He felt peaceful. He was, he said slowly and calmly, at peace with his decision and his choice. The room was hushed, fairy lights through the white gauze canopy high above.

After a brief history of the courtship, and due thanks to his and her parents, he then, without a hint of self consciousness, described his feelings. You are, he told his bride, the reflected light from a just risen sun off the early morning frost, lighting the leaves of my tree, but casting no shadows. (He is a first light golfer.) I am ready, he declared, my bag packed, with light, with water, to take you on our journey.....into the sunshine and into the darkness, we go together. Not a dry eye at our table, as he poetically took her unto himself, still in his late twenties.

We drove back home late in the night, uplifted, very happy that we had been considered and moreover sensible enough to have gone.

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