I recently attended the wedding of my best friend John Harvey Cates Jr. (Jay, as most of you know him). In a designated ‘quiet zone’ known at the Conservatory Garden of Manhattan’s Central Park, on a still Summer afternoon, we gathered around Burnett Fountain and watched him exchange vows with another man. A yogi known as Kenneth Harvey Frisby Jr. Leaning into love they were joined as husbands and legally married. Legally and lawfully married! My heart skipped a beat.
The feeling of joy in my heart carried me back to a different Summer day, on the West Coast, near the ocean, June 26, 2015, to be exact. A day etched in poignant memory. When news hit the internet of the historic Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage across the nation, my knees folded towards the floor of my home office. Surrounded by paints and my creative intelligence, I felt a wave of goose bumps generously caress my skin as I mindfully spoke: “I’ve never felt this feeling of belonging before.”
Obviously I had dramatized it through my obsession of Ariel’s famous anthem: “I don’t know when, I don’t know, but I know something’s starting right now. Watch and you’ll see, someday I’ll be, part of your world.”
One of the astounding qualities of the #harveyharveywedding (beside their hashtag) was the intention behind it—the flame which fueled the feeling, tone, and color of the celebration. During deliberations with yogi and officiant Ali Cramer the grooms were clear about honoring the profound wisdom and truth of three words: love is love.
The Harvey-Husbands hoped their wedding would spread the essence of connection and magic that had brought them together. Rising above politics or opinion accentuating the heart of love and celebration.
Celebrate we did! Laughter, friendship, family, music, dancing, and sheer joy were flowing in abundance.
How willing are you to flower with love and celebrate the people and relationships in your life? Not tolerate or accept, but celebrate. There's a profound difference.
I had the honor of sharing a few words during their ceremony and offer them today as your mindfulness challenge for the week.
Alexander Blue's Offering
As human beings we are found in a forever dance of relation. We relate to each other in fascinating and complex rhythm. From parent to child, friends and lovers, even strangers, enemies, ‘others’, and those deceased.
Consider your relationship to this miraculous planet. Mother Earth in all her power and beauty.
Within in each of us there lies a secret garden, and with each breath it flowers in relation to our mind, body, and heart allowing an even deeper, more subtle, quiet and still, relationship to flourish with spirit, soul, grace, the Divine, God.
Did you know these flowers, the water lily and lotus, thrive from muddy waters? It’s said the lotus is a flower that grows in the mud. The thicker and deeper the mud, the more beautiful the lotus blooms and opens.
Life itself is relationship and its soundest form is friendship.
Jay and I found our connection, and friendship, in the Summer of 2008. We were living in downtown Salt Lake City surrounded by the nostalgic Rocky Mountains. Unbeknownst to us we lived less than a block from each other. Fierce Grace & Muddy Waters found us bruised, broken hearted, and single at the same time.
Our paths of ‘coming out’ had suddenly brought us to a crossroads. Where we were willing to reconcile our authentic selves with a divine power of love.
In the time of our friendship we’ve traveled the world, hiked mountains, and biked desert slick rocks. We’ve laughed, cried, danced, and even written a screen play together. We praised the sun and whispered prayers and dreams to star filled skies.
This day, was one of those dreams for Jay.
And there’s no doubt, Kenny was on the other side of that star filled sky, in relation to Jay’s prayer. With a yogic prayer and breath of his own.
As we stand around this fountain today, which was dedicated to the children of New York, may we playfully pinky-swear to open our hearts to life. Just a little more. To your life. And may we all be inspired by the marriage of these two Harveys today to live with more love and to nurture the beauty and revelation that can arise even from muddy waters.