Last night my family and I were driving back from
Annapolis where one of my best friends married his lifelong partner in
a very informal yet beautiful ceremony in their home. The ritual
itself was less than 10 minutes long, officiated by a good friend.
I was surprised that they made a point of recognizing the new law, which
made their marriage possible in Maryland, the Civil Marriage Protection
Act. The law took effect January 1, 2013, allowing same-sex couples to
obtain marriage licenses knowing that their unions will be recognized
by the state and federal recognition came six months later via the U.S.
Supreme Court�s decision in United States v. Windsor.
I frankly didn’t expect it. I didn’t realize there would be a reference
to the recent law as an integral part of the marriage ceremony and to
my own surprise it was incredibly moving. An explosion of applause
burst from the witnesses – there were about 30 of us. It was a
release of unseen and pent up joy that these two men could now
consecrate their union with the full support of their state and country
as well as their community.
The reference to the historic importance of the moment amplified their
very personal commitment and opened up the evening to something larger
than this particular gathering of people – it connected us to similar
gatherings around the world without saying as much, but simply by doing
it. George and Michael lived their gifts last night, lived their
lives very large, and we all benefited from their boldness and
commitment. It was a great and simple gift that took place by virtue of
their willingness to be one with what is.
On the way home my wife, Laura, and I looked in the back seat where my
fifteen-year-old son, Gabe, was crashed out next to my eight-year-old
daughter, Ruchi, also sleeping. Ruchi just two years before joined our
family from an orphanage in New Delhi. The two children were sleeping
hand-in-hand. What a gift Ruchi is to Gabe. And what a gift Gabe
is to Ruchi.
Claim the moment that makes it special. Mundane or sacred, it does not
matter. Either way it goes straight to the soul.
gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.