I'm Dan's Uncle Earl and I'm honored to officiate at his marriage ceremony to Sam.
I've known Dan all his life. I held him the day after he was born. He has been raised in the ghetto of northern Vermont. Raised on ramen noodles and maple syrup sap, and his father's brownies.
Sam you have been raised in a garden, orchard, lakeside, and forest. This is your cathedral.
By making this sacred commitment to marry, Sam and Dan, you are also committing yourselves to building bridges one day, and rainbows another.
You're committing yourselves to watching the stars at night together, and scratching Curtis your cat.
You are also committing yourselves to staring at petunias and trees with all encompassing love and compassion, and dancing daily whether you hear drumbeats or internal songs of joy.
You're committing yourselves to never taking a day for granted or that it's 'just another night.'
You've committed to jumping into the deep end of the lake and not being afraid because you're doing it together and with the firm knowledge that you already know where the rocks are.
Yes, your parents came out of the Summer of Love, and you wear that childhood with a badge of honor. Both of you have been loved unconditionally and were created out of the deep love.
Sam, Dan and his brother, Brendon, used to build forts up in the sky. Forty or fifty feet up in the treetops with "borrowed' hammers and axes and no safety net. Today, castles in the sky will be built.
You both wear your Mother and Father's hearts. They cannot be confined. You chose to be wed in the heart of nature and glory, close to what you know to be sacred. Close to what you know to be true. Green. Blue. Birch. And, cedar.
You not only survived your Vermont childhood, you thrived.
It's elemental that you may build your life here. To create moments of love and forgiveness, hope and charity. To build rooms under sky and stars, with doors of welcome, hospitality to friends and family, and new friends and family yet to be met.
Both have learned the importance of music through osmosis. You were both nurtured on music even before you were born. You learned percussion from your Mother's heartbeat. You were nurtured in gardens and patience. Your father did not plant an orchard unless he believed in the future.
You both share large circles of close friends and colleagues who celebrate, not only who you are, and also who you will come to be in the days and years ahead.
Make birthdays as special as Fridays, and, Sunday mornings as special as pancakes and cinnamon rolls.
Never let each other watch Fox News. Replace the weather forecast for each other. A cloudy day becomes a marshmallow day. Sunny days are for donuts.
Be kind to one another. Put your time together first. Celebrate the strengths in each other's families that nurtured you and helped you come to the place we are today.
Demonstrate joy and good living, abundance.
Make coffee for one another, not as a sign of dependence or endurance, but as a sign of caffeine need and addiction.
Understand the cathedral moments, the moment of comets and sunrises, sunsets and rainbows, of wrens and cardinals, eagles and crows.
Take each other's breath away...create gardens together and share glimpses of heaven here on earth.
Be the one to come home to... no matter how hungry or tired...and welcome your beloved with a song and a poem...a painting or a proverb...a devotion or blessing.
Do not test each other's patience....others have already done a really good job of that.
Make fun of other people and not each other. It's much better that way.
Talk to each other and use words if necessary. Use words to say the obvious actions. Make dreams come true.
Respect the feelings of each other, even though their will be times when you think the other doesn't have any.
You no longer will have better things to do, only each other to be.
Honk if you love each other, but not in hospital zones, or after 10 o'clock.
Fight fairly and often. Never use words that may scar, or inflict wounds that might not heal. Comfort and protect each other. There is more than enough pain in the world.
Make plans for the future together. Even though you secretly may have already decided what you want. The highest value is in the listening to one another, and not who can shout the loudest.
Try new recipes and don't be afraid to spit it out. Look forward to having meals together understanding that one of the highest spiritual disciplines is cooking.
Feed each other ideas as well as chocolates.
Massage each other's hearts to repair past damages and be open to each other's healing spirits of love and compassion.
Let love thrive.
This I know, happiness is possible.
Happiness is not only possible. Happiness is here.