I’ve been on holiday for about a week when an email pops up on my phone. I’m ignoring emails; I am on holiday, after all, but the subject gets my attention. “Marriage Celebrant Registration”, it says. So, reluctantly, and worried that I might need to do something, I open it.
“I am pleased to inform you” is all I read before I realise that it’s exactly what it’s telling me: I have been registered as a marriage celebrant! My head starts listing off all the things I need to get done, and I start to wish I’d brought my laptop!
But there’s only so much I can do remotely, and I return to holiday mode… for the most part.
Frequently, things along the journey remind me of my new status. Most notably, right at the end of my holiday, I stopped in Raymond Terrace to meet a school friend. It was a very hot day, so I parked some distance away from the pub to protect the cool cocoon my car had become, under the shade of two majestic fig trees.
As I got out I noticed a sign marking these two trees as Raymond Terrace’s ‘Marriage Trees’. Apparently, before the first church was built in 1840, weddings were held between these trees. How sad, I thought, that they were probably little more than saplings before that first church was completed and the poor couples had to have their weddings indoors. These magnificent trees make a beautiful cathedral in which any couple would be proud to declare their commitment to each other.
I carried on home and started the process of setting myself up to perform weddings, hoping one day I get a call back to Raymond Terrace to make use of these magnificent trees.