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Where does the spark begin, where something becomes important, where it takes hold of your heart, lands in your brain and puts down roots.  Where it becomes inexplicably entwined into who you are and what you love.  I thought about that one day, why do celebrations, parties, dinners, weddings, gatherings of any sort, why do they  matter  so much to me. Why do the wheels turn, almost in a controlled uncontrollable way, as if I can’t not see the vision, like it jumps out at me and paints itself in my mind; and it’s there for the taking…that part is the fun, the passion, the joy….but the love and the understanding that a wedding, a birthday, a gathering can be the culmination of generations,  where did that begin?  I suppose that started in the backyard of the farm where my grandparents lived, under an old oak tree where my grandmother strung plastic colored lanterns on summer nights.  It was that beautiful  point between everything and nothing.  It felt magical and sublime, but it also felt like a firmly planted effort and thoughtfulness, and to me that was the combination  that was the most beautiful–an obvious effort with magical results.  It was earth and heaven being swept up together on a farm, under and old oak tree, with plastic lighted lanterns. It was what perfect should look like, what it should feel like.  A rhapsody of simplicity elevated to the mystical.

When we are young, we don’t really know why something means something to us, we just know it does.  So we hold it in our heart for years to come and then one day, with time on our hands, we think back about those moments and we remember them with clarity.  We figure out that what we loved wasn’t always that everything went as planned, many times what we loved was just the effort for a plan; the cooking over a hot stove in the middle of the summer heat to make the birthday girls favorite dinner….we can’t recall the gift for that year, but details of your moms dress as she cooked over the hot stove, that is something never to be forgotten.  The window open with the floral curtain blowing in the breeze, those colors are vivid and bright.  The feelings those memories conjure up, they are warm and comforting.  They remind us that we are connected, loved, maybe even special.

Celebrations evoke all that is good about life, they should mark time in a way that nothing else does.  Whether they are simple or grand is not the point, and no one should ever mistake that.  If a moment reflects love, intention, joy and light it is a celebration.

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