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Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com

Ain't love grand?

Friday, September 20, 2019

This past Saturday, Gideon and I celebrated the marriage of two dear friends. It was a full weekend of wedding events, with the rehearsal dinner Friday night, the wedding Saturday afternoon and an after-party that night by the river.

The wedding was beautiful from beginning to end. My favorite part of the day was watching our friends dance together for the first time as a married couple. I never really believed you could feel love in the air until that moment –– my skepticism rears its ugly head once again. But the way they smiled and held each other tight encapsulated how it is to love and be loved. I might have cried a little during that moment –– OK, I cried a lot.

Gideon and I loved being part of the wedding and especially loved partying with our friends. We’ve only known these friends for a little more than a year, but they are sure to include us and make us feel like we’re part of the group. If you ask me, there’s no better group of people to party with.

Really, the whole weekend was a party –– the kind where you make new friends and dance so much your feet hurt the next day. A live band performed beneath the moonlight and, at one point, performed the beloved tune “Dancing in the Moonlight.” The band played classic songs like that for hours. When I close my eyes, I’m transported back to gravel bar dancing to an outstanding rendition of Springsteen’s “Atlantic City,” my arms around Gideon’s neck and the full moon high above our heads.

We retreated to our tent before everyone else, though I would hardly consider 11:30 p.m. going to bed early. Gideon fell asleep almost immediately but I couldn’t sleep. I stayed awake staring up at the tent. People came and went. I heard their chatter and the sound of feet clomping across damp grass. Crickets chirped in the distance. Leaves fell periodically, lightly thumping against our tent cover.

After a full day of standing, singing and dancing, it felt wonderful to take a deep breath and relax. Gideon snored next to me, his head resting on my stomach. The cool air convinced me to pull the comforter over my shoulders. I thought of how big the sky is and how small we are in comparison. I thought of our friends and their first dance and how they found each other in this crazy, chaotic world.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by a bunch of things I can’t control and I don’t always realize how much anxiety I’ve been carrying around until it’s released. That’s exactly what that moment was: a release. I’d say the entire weekend was a release, a time to let go of fear and embrace all the love around me. Letting go isn’t one of my strong suits. I can hold onto emotions –– often negative –– for a very long time.

But this weekend, all I felt was happiness. You can’t worry about much anything when you’re surrounded by love. On Sunday morning, I felt tired but invigorated. I felt like I had been part of something special.

To our wonderful friends, I hope you have a lifetime of happiness and love. And to those of you who are struggling to find inner peace, I hope you know there’s a place for you. When you find that place, I hope you embrace it the way our friends did this weekend.

After all, ain’t love grand?