My opening words described marriage and this couple with metaphors referring to nature and the tree. Both marriage and nature are ever changing, a continuing process and never a finished action. Both must be resilient, both must learn to weather out the storms, the challenges of daily life and the passage of time. And with both, it is nurturing, nourishment and caring that is the substance needed to keep them sustained and help them grow.
On the unity table sat a beautiful, ceramic, three bowl container. The container on the right held rich, dark soil and represented the foundation in which the groom had grown from. The bowl on the left also held rich, dark soil and represented the foundation from which the bride was raised from. The couples mothers were asked to come forth and take from their soil and place it into the middle container. It was in the middle container, among the mixed soils of the couples foundation, that they planted their tree. The couple then watered their tree to symbolize, just as the tree needs water, sun and soil to grow a marriage must be nourished with love, trust and respect.
After the tree planting, a reading from the child's book "A little Yellow Leaf" was shared by a child who read mostly to the couples baby boy. The couple then vowed to be rooted in their relationship and I closed with the reading of the ee cummings poem - I carry your heart: (in my heart)
And whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling
I fear no fate, for you are my fate, my sweet
I want no world, for beautiful you are my world, my true
And it is whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you.
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
Here is the root of root and the bud of the bud;
And the sky of the sky of a tree called life:
Which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide
And this is the wonder that keeps the stars apart
I carry your heart - I carry it in my heart.