Giddy. That is the energy that these two have for each other. They inhabit the same optimistic, playful, dream-like universe. They told me the other night that when they met, they didn’t have to explain themselves to each other. They “get” each other to a rare and beautiful degree. Eric is one of my local photographer friends whose work absolutely inspires me, so it is such an honor to get to be the one to record some pictures of these two in this momentous season of their lives. I absolutely adore you guys! You inspire me and brighten my day every time I’m around you!
My friend Ashley has had dreams of a BIG farm table to host her most beloved under the stars in her back yard. Her husband Jeremy gave her one of many beautiful gifts I have seen him give her by building a truly BIG table with enough bench room to host a dinner party for 16.
In late September, Ashley invited a handful of women to the Big Table for a vegetarian feast, the menu all planned around the concept “bittersweet”. As we sat down to dive into our first course, she read an excerpt from a book she had been reading, “Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is something broken and something beautiful, that there is a sliver of lightness of even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich when it contains a splinter of sadness. Bittersweet is the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity.” (Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet, 2010)
This year, two of my best friends have dealt with the loss of a parent, a few have lost their own children, several have suffered heartbreak, and I understand more and more why so many people know life to be almost unbearably painful. At Ashley’s table that night, each of us had our own understanding of the bitter. Some of it so fresh that the words in that prologue probably seemed fluffy next to the pain. But on that beautiful September night our friend Ash gave us a taste of the sweetest. One of those windows in life where the beauty is bigger than what you could have hoped for. Thanks Ash. I wanted to share a bit of that beauty with you all.
My friends Sarah and Mat got married in September on top of Aspen mountain. One of my favorite qualities in Sarah is her habit of gathering people together for beautiful experiences. She cultivates community and I think one of her biggest joys is giving. For three days, about 60 of Sarah and Mat’s most beloved gathered in the mountains for hiking, fishing, lots of eating, and lots of dancing. And there was a palpable power there on top of the mountain. Everyone there was affected by it.
Thank you Sarah and Mat for the gift of being a part of this beautiful weekend. Love you and miss you!