Monday, July 5, 2010

there's always a beginning

I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog for quite some time, but never knew quite what the purpose or focus would be.

Last weekend as I drove away from the Farm and back towards the U.S., I wanted to capture my thoughts of the weekend. To reflect. And to remember. Clicking away on my Blackberry (I was a passenger, not driving), without really planning, I suppose I started...

I feel compelled once again to create something. I now realize that it is not relevant what my motivation is. It is of no consequence if nobody reads or if I decide later to take a different direction.

This most extraordinary weekend has made me realize there is nothing more true, more real than love. I don't mean mushy country song love or even romantic love. I mean love that puts a smile on your face, creates a feeling of fulfillment and purpose, or that just feels darn good.

Although I said I didn't mean romantic love, the two main events of the weekend revolve around exactly that. I traveled this weekend to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario for my cousin's wedding. I will get back to the wedding in a moment - the second event was my sister getting engaged. I can't quite express the joy I felt first when she told me, and even more so when I saw the two of them the next morning. It was not a surprise, but somehow that kind of declaration of love was still inexplicably thrilling for me to witness and experience.

(the RING)

The wedding later that day was the source of many tears - happy ones. It was a beautiful ceremony in the cherry orchard at the Farm, a long time family property once owned by my late grandparents and now by my aunt and uncle. My dad's extended family was present, as well as about 20 Italian friends and family from the groom's side. As we sat under the cherry trees, Sarah made a grand entrance on the back of a tractor in a gorgeous and simple light blue dress to join Dario and their charming one year old daughter. The ceremony, spoken in both English and Italian, addressed the journey that is love. Between laughs and tears, they were wed.

(the grand entrance; the lovely couple; mom & baby Sophia Luce
2,3,4 by uncle Wei)

The rain held off as we had a lavish meal prepared by uncle (for 110 ppl!) and heard speeches from many, including my father remembering his wedding in the same orchard where Sarah was his flower girl.

(Mom & Dad at their wedding with Grannie & Papa, the Farm, 1981)

As the rain poured down on our tent over dinner, my uncles had their customary jam session with a surprise appearance of my mom on the cello (declared the first lady of Seoul). I finally had a chat with Sarah as the evening came to a close, and I found myself in awe of her for the millionth time in my life as she spoke of her upcoming relocation from Rome to Uganda to be the country coordinator for the UN's World Food Programme. She has never been to Uganda, but seems delighted at the idea of moving to a completely foreign country - not unusual for a woman who has lived in many exotic and developing countries such as Sierra Leone and Nepal, and has not remained in a single location for more than a few years since she was 14.

Looking around the tent I was struck once again (although not surprised, because I'm often aware) how international my extended family has become. We now have Italians to add to the existing additions from Korea, Singapore, China, England, and in the near future, Japan.

Looking around, I thought this is love.

As my trip came to an end a few hours ago, we convened at the Farm once again to eat leftovers (we love to eat, and we do it well), to have a last visit, and to say a final unplanned goodbye to my grandfather, who passed in 2002. The last of his ashes were saved for a time his 6 children could be together. As we scattered his ashes in the orchard, tears spilled once again as I remembered, and longed to remember more vividly, Grannie and Papa.

(Papa and his half-asian grandchildren)

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