bare-branchesLast weekend, my cousin got married in a beautiful little church on a historic property in Tennessee. It was a cold, rainy afternoon. The sun was just going down. The altar was decked with candles. Very simple, very quiet.

The minister said, before things began in earnest, that the ceremony presented would be just as it would have been on this same property in the 1830’s. She indicated the plants that stood over the ceremonial space and the near-winter landscape outside and said, it takes courage to stand here in this space, with no distraction or lavish wedding elegance, to  declare love for one another under bare branches.

She was right. It was a powerfully simple, emotional ceremony.

The time of year when summer cools and begins to turn into fall always feels like a relief to me, the frantic, heated energy of one season giving way to  the cool calmness of the next. It feels like coming home, like remembering some deeper peace that got lost, for a moment, in the heat of things. This ceremony felt like that too, like a remembering of something ancient and true, like a peace that could only have come in this season, with its bare branches and cold rain.