Of the myriad tiny joys embedded in my day like so many Easter Eggs in the green grass, one of the sweetest occurs in the early evening, when my route home invariably takes me past a little wooden-faced building nestled in the heart of Coeur d’Alene, a place called The Hitching Post. Often, especially in the summer, the golden rays of late sun illuminating the small brick and clapboard structure also fall upon a wedding party milling around on the lawn outside, where a bride and groom and their retinue of devoted friends are either coming or going from the short and intimate ceremony inside the small chapel.
Sometimes the bride is in full regalia–veil, train and all–resplendent and rapturous beside her tuxedoed groom and matching taffeta-encrusted wedding party. Many times, though, she is less formally attired. Passing by the Post day after day, I have seen a Western themed wedding, a Medieval wedding, and even a wedding where everyone involved, including the happy couple, wore matching tee shirts. Whatever they’re wearing, they usually stop and pose for photos in front of the Hitching Post’s famous sign, sharing hugs and smiles with gathered family as passers-by honk and wave their congratulations in the spirit of bonhomie.
Even when the whole wedding party is dressed in jeans, it’s easy to tell which ones are the bride and groom: look for the couple that is gazing intently into each other’s eyes, giddy and slightly off-balance, as if they’ve just been hit over the head with a pillow-encased anvil. Glancing at them is like glancing into the sun. The joy lingers, radiates, spreads out in concentric circles from its source to wash over even me, driving by in my dusty red car, and suddenly I’m grinning like an idiot.
I do love a wedding.