Monday, June 20, 2011

Before the Deluge

21st Century weddings are truly where it's at.
Keri, here. I' m Thompson's sister and now sister-in-law to Joe, who I have considered a brother for the better portion of my life.

Sometime earlier in the year, Thom told me that he and Joe were going to "tie the knot" on their 30-year relationship.  If California would overturn their then-current ban on marriage, then they would do it there; otherwise it was to be held in Connecticut, what my partner, Justin, and I have coined as "The Las Vegas for Gays."

Justin and I live only about 150 miles east of Norwalk, CT, where our best men would be taking their vows, so we rented a car and headed west. With all the class and candor of our stylish hosts, we found ourselves in one of the most charming New England towns on a beautiful, sunny, early June day.

Norwalk, Connecticut
Norwalk is situated near the New York border on an estuary that leaches into the Long Island Sound from the Norwalk River.  The landscape of an estuary is always unique as it is a combination of salt and fresh waters, usually providing large thickets of sea grass, clams, small amphibians and fish that are well-adapted to this half-saline coastline.
Estuaries form a transition zone between river environments and ocean environments and are subject to both marine influences, such as tides, waves, and the influx of saline water; and riverine influences, such as flows of fresh water and sediment. The inflow of both seawater and freshwater provide high levels of nutrients in both the water column and sediment, making estuaries among the most productive natural habitats in the world.
It was a perfect place to celebrate the union of any relationship, but certainly for Thom & Joe. Their relationship practically is an estuary. It is both fresh and salty. The creatures that inhabit such an environment are proven robust. The environment requires it.

Like the normal flow of river and the normal ebb of ocean, the two bodies meet somewhere halfway, creating its own composition. This is the encapsulating idea that shadowed our stay with Thom & Joe that early June.

On Sunday, June 5, 2011, Justin & I witnessed a commitment made by two people we love deeply. At exactly noon, as our bridegrooms exchanged vows, the church bells rang softly -- yet sternly -- behind them, as if a confirmation, emphasizing the faith and dedication required of a marriage to that of the most sacred and intimate spaces.

The occasion, though incomparably small, was truly festive. When Thom asked me if I wanted to say anything at the wedding, I replied, "to whom?" I mean, we were the only ones at the wedding, and Justin doesn't hear very well. Both Thom and Joe know how much we love and support them. If ever a girl like me could be absent of words, for some reason it was that day. It just didn't seem that words could truly express a sentiment this lovely. 

(Left to Right) Keri, Joe, Thompson and Justin

Justin & I were truly grateful to have spent those days with Thom & Joe at Norwalk; not just for the wedding itself, but for all the days before it: the feasting, the swimming, the bike rides with beer in our baskets, the sarcasm and wit that we all four banter, the warm nights and warm souls by poolside.

What fortunes we hold.

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