Friday, April 29, 2011

Weeping and Rejoicing

My ten-year-old woke me up at five this morning to watch Kate Middleton walk down the aisle at Westminster Abbey and become Princess Catherine. The wedding was understated (for a royal wedding), elegant and beautiful. The music and speeches were good, too. I especially liked when the British commentator told Katie Couric to hush. She did talk rather more than she should have.

We really enjoyed watching that wedding. I am not normally one for following celebrities, but we study a lot of British history (since British law forms one of the foundations of U.S. government), and it is thrilling to witness something so very British as a royal wedding.

Some of our friends thought it might be wrong to rejoice at the wedding when we have had so much destruction lately. Earthquakes, tornadoes, a raging wildfire, even a murder in a nearby town. People are going through trials, both public and private. We certainly have our share. But I still think it is appropriate to rejoice that something good and decent and beautiful happened in London today.

The tornadoes this spring are unbelievable. Nineteen nights ago my family and I stood in the center of our house listening to a barrage of hail. Cornflower was pretty frightened. It sounded like giants were throwing baseballs at our windows. We are very thankful to only be replacing a roof, gutters, a fence, and a window. As severe weather ripped through communities of loved ones all over the south these last few weeks, I received reports from them. I let the kids know that these folks are fine, or those folks lost some property but they are fine, or these folks are not fine. Every single time I mention something like that, my kids are silent. We watched coverage of the devastation in Alabama yesterday and wondered about some friends we hadn’t heard from. The kids were very quiet and still.

So I was happy to wake up this morning with my ten-year-old and watch an elegant lady and a handsome man get married. The princess was modest, the prince was strong. They honored the institution of marriage. It was beautiful. I’m still sad about the horrible things that happen in this world. I want to help, too. But sorrow is always with us, as ten-year-old Cornflower is beginning to learn. We have to enjoy the good bits when we can.

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