Mmmm, cantaloupe! Warm from summer sun, vine ripened and slightly damp from the earth… I’ve been told of a melon strain being cultivated here in Fairbanks, from seeds of Russian farmers. I’ve yet to see or taste it. I hope to find the seed one day, and plant them in my greenhouse. Cantaloupe was my very favorite fruit when I was little. I remember my father teaching me about puns, the treasure hunt to find the secret other meaning of words and phrases. And I remember the day, maybe 5 years old, sitting at the dining room table (the maple one now in my fathers lab/studio, its surface scratched by the hard use of a lifetime of family meals and projects), with a slice of cantaloupe and a spoon. For a few minutes, moments? I couldn’t eat it. I knew then, with the sure and blinding clarity of the very young, that if I took this bite of my most favorite food, I COULD NEVER RUN AWAY AND GET MARRIED. I’d been listening to the sad ballads out of Ireland, the ones that speak of fateful love between ladies and highwaymen. I’d begun to dream of the romance of eloping, the secret thrill of defying conventions, the surprise of coming home with my new husband. And in that moment, I knew I had to either abjure cantaloupe for the rest of my life (oh terrible prospect!) or resolve to never run away and get married. So I took my budding stubbornness, my urge to defy conventions and rebelliously resolved that I was going to eat my cantaloupe, that my parents would have to love and respect and approve of whoever I chose to marry. They would just have to deal. And if my parents loved and respected my choice, then I’d never need to elope! That next juicy bite of chilled orange sweet fleshy melon goodness was my defiance, my demand and my dare.
Next weekend I’m marrying two of my dearest friends in the world. They actually did elope, last fall, for a courthouse wedding. But the power of friends and family, of community, of love as the force that brings people together urged them into having a grand reception party this summer. Preceded by a ceremony in front of family and the closest friends, at which they've asked me to officiate. So this week is all about crafting decorations: buntings and signs sewn mostly of thrifted clothes I've collected and cut up for cloth over the past many years, party planning, and welcoming far-flug family and friends. And then on Saturday, I get to hold sacred space for two beautiful souls to affirm their love for and commitment to one another.
Driving into town last night, the just-shy-of-full moon hung low over the hills. Breathtaking. It seemed equal in size to hills it rested upon. It glowed like a giant pearl in the sky, against a backdrop of periwinkle, pink, lavender, blue, rose sky. What is the full moon bringing you?