And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13 NIV
I first heard the rapid fire machine gun sound of a pair of tiny wings beating against the plastic bag on the floor mat as we were leaving Brainerd. Not thinking too much about it, I drove through the inky black night toward Crosby on our way home from the Twin Cities. My Girl, the one who flatly refuses to kill anything that crawls, was riding shotgun.
The sound would start and then stop. Start and stop. Suddenly, I remembered the shiny army of June Bugs I’d seen slamming themselves against the brightly lit canopy at the gas station where we’d stopped to re-fuel and with a sense of impending doom realized that we’d picked up a hard-shelled little deserter who was about to cause a major scene on the passenger side of a really small car that I was driving.
When we arrived in Crosby’s well-lit downtown, the bug again began to flail around in the darkness as did the Girl, who realized we had a third passenger. “MOM! I think there’s something on the floor! Pull over…pull over…..MOM!!!!!!” she whispered. Pulling into a parking lot, I stopped and turned on the overhead light in the car and looked down to find a large, black Darth Vader-ish beetle resting briefly on the side of my purse, spent. “Open your car door slowly,” I told the Girl Who Refuses to Kill Her Own Spiders. Picking up my purse, I then told her, “now flick it off the purse carefully.” Squealing, but knowing that there weren’t a lot of other options available to her at 11:30 p.m. if she didn’t want to ride the rest of the way with a June Bug, she relented. Then, once the bug was out on the pavement, door slamming and yelling of “EWWWWWW!” commenced. Crisis averted. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.
Oh, June. Lovely, bug-filled, love-filled, June.
I’ve been fortunate to share in the happiness of two very special young couples this month. The first wedding took place in a synagogue on Chicago’s south side on a warm, humid Sunday evening between Anthony, a former student of mine and Faith, his beloved. There was jazz music before the ceremony and a wine glass under a napkin stomped upon by the groom to the cheers of Mazel tov! at the end. The second celebration took place on a horse ranch west of the Twin Cities yesterday when my nephew, Josh, and Kristina, the woman of his dreams wed beneath a trellis heavy with vines. Two couples surrounded by family and friends. Two couples in love.
Two brides…two grooms….two families. Two fine young couples in their early thirties planning bright futures full of sunrises and sunsets, children and jobs and all the crazily wonderful parts of being part of a pair of human beings. Couples with faith who made the leap, smashed the glass, jumped the broom, said those two small words “I Do” to one another on warm June days before all the people in their lives who love them best. Couples full of hopefulness in an often hopeless-seeming world. Two different, but not really so very different celebrations, actually. Couples surrounded by their extended families and dearest friends all present to share in their joy, celebrating with food and wine, hugs and song.
Love. It’s the greatest thing, isn’t it?
Thank you, June. You are forgiven for the June Bugs.