We gathered together a couple of miles south-west of Tara, on Saturday last, to celebrate the marriage of Erika and Paul. They exchanged rings. They joined their lives together at Kilmessan Junction.The ceremony took place in an amphitheatre formed by the former railway turntable, in the presence of family and friends. A mid-winter wedding among the trees, in soft mid-winter twilight, to the music of Sallyanne’s violin and some disgruntled crows. Despite themselves, the crows provided an agreeable forest background to the proceedings. All that was lacking was a toot toot from Thomas the Tank Engine. That will come later, it seems.
Some might strive (I might) to associate the ancient rings of Tara with the rings exchanged on Saturday. They might (I won’t) haul in the spirits of ancient Celtic warriors, Druids and High Kings, by the hair of the head and talk of thousands of years of Tara as the centre of power in Iron Age Ireland. It’s easier to get there nowadays by motorway, with a toll of one Euro and forty cent and no rapacious tribes along the way. Things have improved. No hostages were demanded or taken. The only spirits to linger in this place are those of the Midland and Great Western, The Great Northern and Great Southern Railways, memories of the real Iron Age.
It is no small thing to see almost all of the people we care about most in the entire world, gathered together in a circle to offer good will and support to a young couple on their life’s journey. Those who could not join us on the day were no less in our thoughts. Our family expanded on Saturday to include new Polish members, who brought with them a renewed SOLIDÁRNOSC, a power greater than kings and warriors, to bind us together.
Look closely at the cake and you will see two little boys, Alex and Seán, climbing on it. These are the cake experts and moreover, the train experts. A wedding is a time for running and jumping, for climbing and chasing with cousins, through the woods and round and round the turning circle. That, of course, is not obligatory for the older generation. Thank you Erika and Paul, for a beautiful and relaxing day.
Travel safely together.