Friday, September 15, 2006
The Wedding Dress
It's 4:30 a.m. and I decided to just get up. Believe me, if you knew how much I would rather be in bed snoozing, you would wonder why I'm up and blogging on my day off. Well, a strange dream woke me up and I felt the need to document it.
I dreamed we were pastoring a church at an unknown location, and a young man and woman in our church were getting married. It was the night before the wedding, and for some reason, I took the beautiful wedding gown home. As is the case in many dreams, I can't offer a reasonable explanation why I had taken the dress home, but I did. It was therefore my responsibility to make sure the dress arrived to the wedding on time and in perfect condition.
I had to make the journey to the church on foot through all sorts of terrain. A busy highway, a pothole-filled dirt road - you name it and I had to carry that beautiful, heavy, embroidered, pearl-encrusted gown. The journey was filled with peril at every turn - mud, animal feces, holes, limbs, speeding cars, and darkness. At one point, I tried carrying the dress directly above my head to keep it from dragging the dirty street, but it was just too heavy. I tried folding it up so it took up less space, but it just unfolded itself. I had to do a serious juggling/balancing act, as I tried to keep the dress unharmed while watching the road surface and my surroundings, and try to remember the directions to the church. Hey, that was no dream - that was a nightmare!
When I got to the church, I was relieved to find the gown intact, and as the wedding coordinator saw me bring it in, his joy soon turned to curiosity. "Where is the garment bag?" he asked. The garment bag? Oh yeah, the garment bag - the one I was supposed to put the gown in to carry it on its journey. The one which would have protected it and kept it clean. The one I totally forgot about. That garment bag.
I would have slapped myself in the head vis-a-vis those old V8 commercials, but at that point I woke up.
The time is drawing near when we hand over the house. Closing is Halloween, and we will move out the week before that date. We have been responsible for this lovely old house for over a decade now (owning it 12 years and living here over 10 years). It has been important in our lives; indeed, it is a piece of our lives now. It is nearing time to hand this heavy, delicate, pearl-encrusted jewel of a house over to its new owners. We have a month and a half to keep it in perfect condition, making sure the embroidery doesn't unravel. The journey always has elements of risk involved. The need for coordination is paramount.
And, in the end, we are relieved yet saddened to hand the gown over to the bride, for in reality, during the whole journey to the church, the dress was hers all along; we were just temporary stewards.
As a veteran list-maker, I have extensive lists of what we have to do, when we have to do it, what we have already done, and what we have left to do. As a chronic worrier, I have the nagging sensation that I may forget to take the garment bag, that I am overlooking some tasks that would make our journey smoother and less complicated.
Oh, well. The "Journey to the New House" is just one part of the "Journey to Simplicity" and the "Journey of our Lives." It gives me great comfort to know that in my dream, I managed to get the dress to the bride intact and she was able to wear the dress with joy and pride. We may forget about a garment bag, but we will make the successful journey anyway.
It's a beautiful jewel of a house, and I am thankful we were able to be a part of its long, eventful life. Weddings always make me cry.