Today I felt the flash of age.
My nephew, Sean, and his fiancée, Jenn, married in a beautiful Scottish-tinged ceremony. The two already have a charming baby named Zachary, and I expect that they will have a happy and successful life together. Sean is partial to lighthouses, so my brother-in-law drew the ancient Pharos lighthouse at Alexandria and gave it to them as a wedding present. It was a touching scene.
Sean and Jenn Carr. Pharos lighthouse drawing copyright Steven D. Halsey.
The reception was at Karen’s in the Country, and the staff there did a fine job of keeping us all fed and happy. The Victorian decor somehow didn’t clash with Jenn’s father’s kilt. (That was cool!)
Sean, Jenn, and Zachary, I wish you the best. You have all the tools to make a successful life together, and I appreciate you inviting me into your lives. I’m sure my brother would be very proud of you and his grandson.
So, what about that age thing I mentioned at the top of this entry?
While at the reception, I experienced the same giddy, the-world-is-falling-out-from-under-me feeling that I used to get as a kid when I dared to speculate about the size of the universe. It came on me suddenly, and might have been helped by the sangria we drank during the best man’s toast, but it was definitely the same feeling. As I watched my nephew dancing with his wife, and saw the bridesmaid carry young Zachary up to them, I realized that they were living a part of my life that has passed. My son will never be Zach’s age again, and I’m not likely to ever be married again. More than that, I remember the handsome young man on the floor as an infant, and I wonder how he grew up so fast.
Why, then, does this feel exactly like my childhood giddiness? Certainly I wasn’t old then. Perhaps what I’m labeling as age is actually a feeling of connectedness. Back then, as I contemplated how large the universe was, I was overwhelmed. That was partly because of the sheer vastness, and partly because I seemed so insignificant in it. But maybe I read that flash of insight wrong; maybe instead of feeling disconnected from the universe, I was feeling a connection to something vital. Maybe I was getting a flash of understanding about what it means to be part — however insignificant — of the universe.
And maybe, at the reception, I was getting a flash of understanding about what it means to be part of a family.