Monday, September 03, 2007

A wedding sanctuary

I’ll spare you photos from the wedding, portraits of friends and family you likely don't know.

But the setting, my God, the setting.

Edson Creek campground is a 40-minute drive south of Bandon, golfing sandbox for the super-rich.

As teenagers, the young wedding couple and their friends spent days in the big sun-washed Edson campground glade. Then as now, they were watched by towering firs. They grew up together in the nearby highway-hugging hamlet of Langlois.

Getting to the camping glade, now wedding sanctuary, meant fording sparkling, gentle Edson Creek.

An ablution.

The wedding unfolded slowly, a gift of sylvan, creekside hours.

Day one: Meeting new extended family and friends, two rehearsal run-throughs. The minister/choreographer, chewing gum and, arms waving, blocking out ceremonial moves like a football coach. An enchilada rehearsal dinner. On the side, the dare of fire-breathing salsa.

(Stay over in Bandon at a two-story rental. Six relatives and a friend. Two bathrooms. A solitary walk to Bandon's boulder-henged beach. Three bags of Erin’s low-sodium popcorn, a bottle of Covey Run Merlot. A communal box of See's Chocolates. Backgammon/Scrabble. Sen. Larry Craig’s televised resignation.)

Day two: Route 101 again. Re-ford the creek hubcap deep. Return to glade, pre-ceremony mingling and reacquainting. Place finding.

A hush. The music, anticipation, the bride's entrance, a muffled sob, a proffered Kleenex, sacred blessings, the vows, rings. A kiss.

The wedding picnic (four-bean salad, barbecued beef), children's games, roasting and toasting, cake cutting, the couple’s farewell — he, pant legs rolled, hoisting her sack-like over a broad shoulder, sloshing bride-laden-ecstatic across the ford to a week’s honeymoon in Napa Valley and beyond.

Laughter rising through the trees.

A small eternity at Edson Creek Campground.

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