Well, modern technology clashed heartily with my pursuit of the past. Our GPS did not work in the expansive park. The gate, eight kilometers from the site, was closed to vehicles and we had to try and find another route. Cyclists abound in the park and apparently, as a courtesy to them, different sections of the road are shut down each weekend. Terrific for the cyclists, not so great for us.
We meandered for a while, sure we would see signs showing an alternate route. As time sped on with no indication of the ruins, we asked a cyclist for directions. Apparently we had wandered quite far. We crept our way through hordes of cyclists, finally finding an entrance near the Abbey Ruins. Historical exploration had fallen by the wayside an hour ago and we were now officially late for the wedding.
We scooted along the pathways, tensions high. Late for a wedding! Who does that except in novels? As we crossed an expanse of green space, sounds of the violin drifted toward us and the ruins came into view. Quick kisses and hugs to family members (we were not the only ones lost so the wedding had not yet begun) and we were seated, still stressed but thankful we had not disrupted the ceremony.In this sacred circle, receive our love.
The reverend spoke of circles, circles of family and friends, circles of life, circles of love. He talked of love not being about the big things but the small, daily moments. He spoke beautifully and poetically, inviting me to hear the words, to see the moment, to be present. My husband reached across and squeezed my hand. A warm stillness melted the brittle tension. And, I saw. I truly saw. A beautiful bride, her hopes and dreams radiating in her smile. A groom, his eyes glistening with the emotion he was so valiantly fighting to hold in check. A circle of family and friends that wished nothing but the best for the future of this young couple. All of us, secure in the abbey’s rugged walls, held gently in the palm of history.
Why do I write historical romance? Because of moments like this. My stories may be fiction but love is real. When wrapped in history, there is nothing sweeter.
Thank you Erin and Sébastien for sharing your day.