We reworked a tradition I had learned in a different context to fit with the brilliance of being alive – to celebrate Ursula and Tim’s 17 years together, 14 years of marriage and the amazing community of friends and family they have accrued – with a hearty fire which grew heartier with every story, memory and anecdote.
Many years ago I conducted a dear friend’s celebration of life, one of the people she had met on a trek through Peru before she died contacted me & told me about a ritual they use to honour the life of the deceased, you take as many logs as there were years in their life and invite someone to relive a story of them before adding the log to the fire.
But we should all hear, revel, delight and celebrate in the stories we share whilst we are alive. So yesterday, after celebrating Ursula and Tim’s family vow renewal ceremony in the daytime with their two gorgeous boys, we let the celebrations unfold & develop into the fire ceremony as dusk arrived.
So many stories were shared, hilarious anecdotes, moments of real meaning, emotional tributes, some malteaser blowing 😉 revelations and reminiscences of the lives they have all shared together. Some people who swore they could never publicly share a story, found themselves being drawn in to the intimate magic of the moment. It was a safe space, a warm space and space of immeasurable love. I didn’t know when I started it how it would quite unfold, we took a leap of faith that it would work & work it did. It was insanely moving – each time someone took up a log or piece of kindling we didn’t know what story ride we were about to embark upon.
By the end of the ceremony, as we transitioned from story to song and into some proper party dancing, the fire was stoked, kicking out heat, warming hearts, making eyes glow with tears and happiness in the flickering fireside & I swear the forging of human to human love and life was as cracklingly palpable as the fire’s sparks.
This is being alive.
This is being loved.
Tim and Ursula, Xav and Neo – the true wealth of life is all yours.