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The Bride

The bride is getting cranky as the Big Day edges closer. The stress of these last few months rises ever higher and will not abate. The Mother of the Bride (that would be me, or what I'm pretending to be) works to anchor and hold the space. How interesting life can be when our children are more conventional than ourselves. I am not comfortable in formal clothing. The details of this one day are more than I could bear to plan. The bride sees no need for my coven sisters and me to spiritually prepare the space.

My daughter, a Taurus, and I, a Libra, are both ruled by Venus, and sometimes that Venusian sensibility is the main thing we share. Beauty, kinship, connection. The bride told me that the paramount quality she sought in this large, fairly formal wedding was beauty. Having recently lived in a situation bereft of beauty, I recognize how lack of it withered my soul, and I fully appreciate this nod to Venus.

The bride helped me pick out some black pumps to wear to the wedding. To break in and learn to walk in the first heels I've worn in 20 years, I wore them around the house as I vacuumed volumes of pet hair, preparing for my foster mother's arrival from California. How June Cleaveresque — I lacked only a string of pearls.

All this was in preparation for an October wedding — a month the couple chose for the beauty of the autumn trees and the cool, crisp air. And yet this is the dark beauty of the waning year in the northern hemisphere. The whispers of the ancestors in the cooling wind. The return to the earth and the compelling need to let go.

She is the bride — no longer a maiden, but a full-grown woman, and I am the mother, no longer reasonably able to claim middle age. And this wedding carries the promise of descendants to carry on our love of beauty.

The bride prepares me a meal — the same salad that I served to her a thousand times in her youth. She makes her own salad dressing of vinegar and oil, as I taught her. My own parents died young; all my daughter will ever know of them is in my face and body and ways of doing things. The bride makes a sardonic joke and I see my mother laughing from those eyes.

pair of swans in waterAnd yet when I was reunited with my foster mother several years ago, I saw how much I am her child in values and ethos. My foster mother comes to celebrate this joyful day while her own blood daughter dances with the cancer that keeps her from the wedding. The bonds of love are strong enough that this eccentric crone travels across the nation to see my child wed.

And so here in this wedding — despite the maddening details and concerns — is Goddess in her many forms. She is in the bridal couple who love each other and in the members of the wedding party whose lovers abruptly dumped them days before the ceremony. She is in the wedding cake and in my compost bin. She is in the unearthly cry of the whistling swans who stop to feed in Mississippi River backwaters as they head south. And She cares little for my spiritual struggles, my disenchantment with or passion for Her. She simply Is.

Graphics Credits

  • bride, arm-in-arm with her parents © 2007 Krystal Muellenberg. All rights reserved.
  • swans, courtesy of Gracey.
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