Hope is the thing with…

Not feathers. Whatever Emily Dickinson wrote. I’m not a fan of feathers. Substitute leaves for feathers.

Under normal circumstances, we’d be hosting weddings right now. But circumstances aren’t normal. Spring weddings have been postponed, some to later in the year and others to next year. It’s not possible to predict how and when we’ll be released from lockdown, what will happen with the social distancing rules, when there’ll be a vaccine…

‘To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.’ Audrey Hepburn said that. To plan a wedding is also to believe in tomorrow, in the future. Leaving aside arranged marriages and dynastic couplings,  a wedding is about stating in front of witnesses, whether that’s just one celebrant, (as was the case here in January), or two registrars and two hundred guests, that you love each other and want a shared future.

A wedding is – stripped to its core – about saying it aloud, about intention and about hope.

There’s a lot of gardening going on right now, from repotting a single houseplant to digging new vegetable beds and to larger polytunnel and greenhouse projects. A lot of this is motivated by staying in and keeping busy, enjoying fresh air and exercise, and some of this is inspired by a wish to be less dependent on the vagaries of supply, to control one’s destiny one leek at a time. But however ungreenfingered you are, there’s a primal human element to this too. Reconnecting with the earth, and doing something positive for the future.

One day, not too far into the future, we’ll be able to hold the weddings of the couples whose plans have been put on hold. In the meantime, maybe some of them are growing things too.

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