One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."


Love is friendship set on fire.” – Unknown

sunrise-harlemPatrick and I enjoyed a memorable sunrise at Nauset Beach earlier this fall, so it was fun to see one from his city perspective on Saturday morning. 

It’s still a golden ball full of magical possibilities at the start of the day, no matter where you are, it turns out.

We’d had an unintentionally late night, owing to an impromptu Hip-Hop Ipod concert held down on the sidewalk in front of the deli across the street.  What incredible sound quality those speaker sets have…and then when you play it in the natural amphitheatre created by the tall buildings…well, it’s like having Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five right there in the apartment with you.   Or it would have been, if they’d been playing anyone of that calibre.

In between that and the early morning Anvil Chorus of the ConEd workers (they began at 7 a.m. every morning throughout the weekend, so we assumed the work they were doing was important enough not to grumble much about, tho), we did have some nice sleep. 


I certainly like sleeping in the peace and relative quiet of the Cape Cod countryside, but my fondness for urban centers also means the sound of the distant sirens, trains, cars, trucks,  busses and airplanes are all a sort of music to my ears, as well…and after a short adjustment, I can sleep through that sort of sound just as well as anything.   Really, I can sleep just about anywhere.

Our merry adventure through the Christmas city the  night before had been tiring but great fun and we both of us could easily have justified a bit more lounging about (it might be our common default setting, actually) than the morning allowed, as we had a wedding to get ourselves ready for.

It was a sunny but cold morning, with temps flirting around the freezy part of the thermometer, so we bundled up as we made our way to the subway and our destination toward the southern end of the island.  Now the occasion of the day was the nuptial celebration of my long-time friend (and co-worker) Sara’s wedding to Dan.    Readers of the Midnight Garden may recall them from a beach house evening or two last summer and way before that, too (although I didn’t really have readers then…).

We arrived at Moran’s Chelsea, the historic Irish tavern which was to be the site of the wedding and reception, with just a few moments to check our coats and enjoy the heat of the fireplace and find some seats before the ceremony began.  And what a beautiful ceremony it was.


One of my favorite things about the whole season of Christmas is the extra love that’s floating around, sometimes just in the air.   Folks are a little nicer to one another.  Maybe we’re worried that we’ve not been good enough the rest of the year, or maybe its just that we all look so much nicer in the glow of those bright holiday lights.  Perhaps something about the holiday season and the reasons behind it makes us mindful of the people we’d like to be.

Whatever the reason, the extra love makes Christmastime the perfect time of  year for a celebration such as this.  And this wedding, well it was quite the celebration of love.  I wish I’d had a tape recorder…there were so many beautiful things said and read.   This jaded catering director was moved to tears more than once.

I’m not sure I feel like I’m the big expert on Love these days.   It’s been quite a  long year…and one of the lessons I have definitely learned (or at least started to), is that I don’t know much about how this Love thing works, or what it entails even…or if I’ve ever even known what it feels like before recently.   But you could feel Love in the room last Saturday (my goodness, it’s been a week already)…flowing back and forth between Sara and Dan in the vows they made to one another, and between them and their families…and their friends. 

On this day, Love was a two-way street just awash in good and warm feelings. 



One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.” – Sophocles


Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.” – Rainer Maria Rilke



Where love is, no room is too small.” – Talmud


Love is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day.” – Nicholas Sparks



wedding-cupcakesOf course, t’was no surprise to anyone who knows the Bride and Groom that the reception was a fantastic affair, with no end of great food, terrific music for dancing and a big roomful of fun.   Patrick and I felt like we scored big, having found ourselves at a terrific table full of  Sara’s high school and college pals who were lots of fun to chat and dance with.  

I have a feeling, though, that everyone in the room may’ve felt that way about the folks they were seated with, since the whole greater crowd seemed to be quite fun and lovely, too.  We continued to make new friends throughout the afternoon and into the evening.  Perhaps a sure sign that we had a great time is that I don’t feel like I took enough photos.

And just when we thought you couldn’t do better than the wonderful sea bass dinner (I hear the filet Mignon was nice, too…), well, there were cupcakes and assorted holiday pastries for dessert!  



dancing-21As the afternoon turned to evening, the reception wound to its conclusion, but it was really only a temporary lull in the festivities as we found our coats and regrouped for the walk several blocks…east? south?  To be honest, between the subway, the sun’s low position in the winter sky and all the wine, I really didn’t know what direction we were headed and didn’t care too much, as long as we found ourselves at The Park with everyone else, where the After Party had been scheduled .

The reshuffling of the crowd gave us an opportunity to meet a whole new group of people we’d not spent time with, which was fun and gave us all plenty to talk about as we whiled away the evening.   We weren’t really raring to go as far as hitting a dancefloor again or (thank goodness) pounding shots or anything like that (though this recent birthday boy was absolutely over the moon to have been asked for ID at the bar…).



Here’s our new friend, Tracey, rocking a shiny burl chair near one of the fireplaces at Park when we first arrived.   What a terrific place (I thought so even before they proofed me), definitely the kind of establishment that appeals to this Midnight Gardener.

They have this terrific patio room, where we spent much of our time there, when we could be coaxed away from the fireplace.  It’s like two stories or more high, all glass enclosed and full of trees and vines and plants, creating the illusion that one is outside in a park.    Which I suppose is how the place got its name.   ; )

It was a great place to continue the days celebration of friendship and love and have a few more laughs, before heading off to whatever our respective weekends held for us.




There are those who might poo-poo a December Union:  the month’s too busy, how will you remember your anniversary each year as you dash about, I hope you don’t expect us to be able to afford another gift.   Those are definitely not the folks you want to invite to your wedding, no matter when it is.

I thought this was just an amazing day and a perfect piece of the 2008 Christmas season.   I am honored to have been included in such a brilliant, warm, wonderful, fun, exciting and just f**king-glowing-with-love kind of day.   Thanks, Sara and Dan, for making us a part of your family.   I wish you happiness and love always!


Love is danger.  Love is pleasure.  Love is sure the only treasure.”

Sound familiar?



Comments on: "Love’s Pure Light: A December Wedding" (5)

  1. Sounds like heaven to me. I love the energy of the city. And I’m born and bred city boy through and through

    Providence isn’t bad, it isn’t Boston or New York, but it’s got its own quirkiness Of course lately with all the construction and highway relocation going on it’s starting to resemble Boston a great deal.

  2. Sounds so picture perfect. First of all convey my congratulations and hearty wishes to Sara and Dan – they do look a lovely couple! I love the decorations too. Always when there’s a festival people tend to be nice to others and it’s a good opportunity to heal your wounds or broken ties.

  3. This is beautiful! The pictures, and especially the special love you describe between the bride and groom, and among the friends, is inspirational. I like those outside-looking inside spaces. Is that bamboo? Way cool.

  4. Who among us is an expert on love? Each occurrence is an entity unto itself. I think those wise in love simply accept the risk and remain open to it. Your post warms my heart. You two look incredible.

  5. To clarify, I think it may not serve you well to read too much into my ruminations herewith on the nature of Love. For those of you who haven’t been dealing with me for the last 44 years, it might help to know that during the warm and wonderful holiday season, its important to take the Midnight Gardener’s emotional ramblings with a grain or two of salt or sanding sugar or something.

    Of course I have known all kinds of Love in my life, and as Birdie wisely points out, such a thing is different with every instance of it, whatever this illusive thing called Love really is. This year I’ve learned much about it, as much by learning what it is NOT as from learning what it might sometimes be.

    If there’s one lesson I’ve had re-introduced to me, its that there is, perhaps, no greater love than what we have for our friends and our families, but also the love we hold in reserve for ourselves.

    Merry loving Christmas, everyone.

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