The build-up to the royal wedding, all the hype and expectation, left me fairly cold.
I don’t have a problem with the institution of marriage, nor with the monarchy per se. But the fuss that takes place on the periphery is, for me, a massive disincentive to pay much attention.
So it was that, after weeks or even months of taking little or no notice, I found myself instinctively sitting in front of the TV on the morning of Friday 29 April to watch the proceedings.
I know I am not the only person who reminisced about the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, as she was known back then in 1981. Similarly, I’m not the only person who reflected upon their own wedding day while watching the spectacle of two young people full of love and hope becoming husband and wife.
The 1981 royal wedding was the point at which my mother decided we were through with watching the world in black and white, and we got our first colour TV. For us, it was a pretty big deal. Although I don’t recall watching very much – if anything – of that royal wedding.
I guess it’s fairer to say it was a big deal for my mum.
Roughly mid-way between that royal wedding and the one that just took place, I got married.
My mother didn’t get to see it. She had died just less than a year prior to the occasion.
So it was that, as I sat listening to the readings and homilies at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, I thought about love, and hope and expectation. I thought about life and it’s uncanny knack of paying no attention to the plans we make. The people we become as we grow older are not the people we once were. We are changed by the lives we lead, the highs and the lows, the cards we are dealt by fate.
The joys and the disappointments.
If you have never found yourself wondering, in the face of a mountainous set-back, what the point of it all is, whether you have the strength to carry on, or why you foolishly made the decisions that led to the point you’re at, well you simply haven’t lived.
When children are very young they fall over – a lot. Parents watch anxiously to see if they are hurt, or if they will start crying, and there is always lots of encouragement not to cry, not to dwell on what just happened.
As we get older we forget how easy it is to fall over.
Failure, I read very recently, is a better teacher than success.
But it’s up to us to pay attention and learn from the lessons it delivers.
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