That Special Journey

The world seems small indeed on occasions. My mother got a new job not too long ago (working in education), and it turns out that an old school teacher of mine works there too. She was such a lovely woman, and a wonderful teacher. She recognised my mum, and my mum told her about the fact I’ve now got a published book. One day, my mum took her copy of the book into school so my old teacher could see it, and other members of staff also poked their nose.

There is a little poem… well, I wouldn’t even call it a poem – it’s just a few words I threw in at the front of the book.. This is what it says, anyway:

To all of those
Who flared a raging fire in my heart,
Who blew me aside,
Who drowned my dreams,
Who trampled me to the ground:
You have made me who I am.

To the few
Who warm me in my darkest hours,
Who soar through the sky with my hopes,
Who ripple across the pond to be beside me,
Who are as solid as stone:
Thank you.

And thank you for venturing to the Ilimoskus world.

One of my mother’s work colleagues read this and was apparently incredibly moved by it. Although I found that quite surreal and strange to believe, my mum then told her that I’ve written many other poems and that she’d take a few in for her to see. She did so, and this colleague then made a very… interesting request. She asked my mother if she would ask me to write a poem for her wedding, to be read aloud at the wedding.

My mother told me the details of this couple: they are both older; she had been married before, and expected never to find love again. Her fiancee has never been married and he has no children, he has no siblings and both his parents have passed. Well.. I didn’t know what to do. From what I had been told, this woman sounded so kind and genuine, and she truly did love my poems. I wanted to give something to her to thank her for the kindness towards my work, to add to their special day. But who am I to write a poem for a wedding? I am not married, I am not even in a relationship right now: have I experienced life and love enough to write a poem about the special journey? I did not know. But I wanted to try. So, I wrote my first draft.

I used the analogy of ships and the sea. It felt right to me. I heavily criticised it, though – I expected them not to like it. They didn’t like it… they loved it – or so my mother said. Regardless, they wanted to use it for their wedding. This was, and still is, an odd feeling for me. Knowing that this poem of mine is to be read aloud at a wedding, before so many people, gives a very bizarre sense of pressure, for although I know the couple likes it, I don’t think it is worthy to be spoken to so many. I feel somewhat like a fraud, writing something for someone when I know next to nothing of the matter myself. I’ve also only ever been to two weddings in my lifetime, and both times I was a bridesmaid. I’m not quite sure what I’m trying to say here, but despite all this, I’m glad I managed to give something back to her.

I met her for the first time – and probably the only time – yesterday. My mother’s work colleague, I mean. She was as kind and genuine as I had imagined, though something about her seemed strangely familiar… as though I already knew her. I gave her my poem, framed and signed, as a gift. I feel very honoured to have been asked to do such a thing for such an intimate journey she is soon to take – that special journey of holy matrimony. I wish her, and her fiancee, all the best for the future.

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"What does your heart tell you?" - ToO, chpt. 32

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