Saturday, June 17, 2017

Land, Sea, and Sky: There is Love


June 17, 1972

45 years ago, my husband and I were married at the "Shrine of St. Therese". A tiny forested little island, in Auke Bay, Alaska. 25 miles north of Juneau, it was originally build by visiting Jesuit priests who came to the Diocese of Juneau to serve in territorial Alaska and found such beauty and so much need for their services that several stayed and with the help of volunteers completely built the tiny shrine of local stones on a tiny bit of an island now known as Shrine Island.


And today a beautiful labyrinth has been added and is walked by thousands of people a year who come out to view the beauty and feel the incredible energies of spirit that fill land, sea, and sky as animals gather without fail as blessings for all.




When the tide is in, the entire island is surrounded by beautiful blue water, except for the narrow  'walking-only' causeway.We walked out from our wedding ceremony to the sight of eagles soaring above, whales spouting, and sea lions barking their congratulations. It was incredibly beautiful. 

Now, there is this labyrinth walk etched in the sand where we once walked to the log cabin rectory on the mainland to sign our marriage certificate. And yes, we've been back and it's still lovely and weddings are still held there. 



During our ceremony "The Wedding Song" by Peter, Paul, and Mary was sung and played on a folk guitar by a high school friend and at our reception a lot of Simon and Garfield and similar songs from that era. Somehow those beautiful songs filled hearts and souls as they were after all, new to most back then!  

And yes, I made my own wedding dress! And each of my bridesmaids made theirs from fabric I bought and sent each of them in three different states as I gathered best friends from High School and College and included my youngest cousin who was so happy to be a bridesmaid! Our dresses were all in different colors and were beautiful laces over satin, I even made my veil, covered my Bible with the same fabrics and carried a hand carved rose wood rosary. Handmaid wedding in so many ways! 

Ah, the memories of a time, a place, the sounds, and the people. So many have passed on now, most of our guests, many of my own family even several who are younger than I am now. You never know what paths and cause ways you may walk in your life time. Who you will love and who you will remember. I have since lost both of my parents, a sister in law who was there, and uncle who died a few months after he attended our wedding and his young 11 year old daughter was my Junior Bridesmaid. Love and pride filled his face and his heart that day. His one and only chance to see her all grown up in a long bridesmaid dress.  



I rejoice in the wonderful memories of so many from that day, just as I grieve the loss of those who passed on.

For sadly, our dearest and best friends in the world passed away ..on this day..25 years ago. While it changed the memories of June 17th forever from our 25th anniversary on, it didn't change the love we felt for all who have been parts of our lives for whatever time we had with them.




But in the end, the lovely and positive sounds, sights, and memories remain above all else and I am filled with gratitude for the good times and the lessons and treasures from even the sadder ones!

Click to hear this lovely song as it was performed on their own 25th anniversary!

45 years from June 17, 1972 the song is just as meaningful and beautiful as ever.

Peter, Paul and Mary - Wedding Song "There is Love" (25th Anniversary Concert)





Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.

8 comments:

  1. Happy anniversary Michele! Sounds like your wedding was so beautiful.

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  2. Happy Anniversary! As soon as I saw the photo I was sure you had made that lovely wedding dress. I cannot imagine a more wonderful place to hold a wedding. Blessings and peace to you.

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  3. Happy Anniversary Michelle. A lovely post too.

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  4. Happy Anniversary! It's mine today, too. Hubby and I have been together 17 years today - on the 17th, in 2017. Neat, huh? Ours wasn't held in nearly as beautiful as place as yours did though! I just love the labyrinth and beautiful scenery. Bright blessings to you, your partner and your family.

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  5. Happy Anniversary. Your wedding dress was beautiful and so is the setting.

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  6. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband!!! I wish you many more! from Iowa take care.

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  7. Qué bello lugar, qué bella historia, qué bellos recuerdos... Felicitaciones en su aniversario de boda, que Dios les siga bendiciendo cada día! Abrazos desde Colombia!

    www.careli-retazosdelalma.blogspot.com

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.