On Sunday, October 11th, David Naimark and Griffen Thomas were married at August Moon, an estate in the Berkshires at Sheffield, Massachusetts. On the same Columbus Day Weekend five years ago, in 2010, David and Griffen met at the Singles Gathering at Easton Mountain. I can’t say for sure if it was “love at first sight,” but it was definitely the beginning of love.
For the observer their love relationship was somewhat unlikely, in that David is a Jewish man from Boston, and Griffin was, at the time, a Lutheran Minister from Brooklyn. Their love grew and blossomed, and they never lost sight of the fact that they met at Easton Mountain.
This was evident in the planning of their wedding. They had three themes they wanted to emphasize: Jewish Tradition, Christian Tradition, and Easton Mountain Tradition. This was easily brought to life by their choice of marriage ministers: Rabbi David Dunn Bauer (Director of Social Justice Programming Congregation Beit Simchat Tora, New York) and John Stasio (An ordained priest and Founder of Easton Mountain).
Both Jewish and Christian traditions were represented by several readings from Sacred Texts including the chanting of a selection of the Song of Songs by one of David’s nieces. The Wedding Service ended with the ritual of the smashing of two glasses by David and Griffin, a sign of the irrevocable step they had taken. There were also readings from the New Testament, calling to mind the generosity of love.
Easton Mountain tradition was represented during the wedding day in many ways. The service was conducted in a beautiful meadow with a circle of chairs around a hand crafted wooden arbor or Hopah. Some guests sat on the chairs, the young guests sat on the grass in front of the chairs, and some guests stood behind the chairs. It was a warm autumn afternoon, the sun was beaming down on this gathering and it made the love present all the more warm and touchable. Easton Mountain tradition was also present the the wedding tent: all the table centerpieces were constructed on a base of rocks brought by Michael Harbison from Easton Mountain. Following one of our dance traditions, there was a stage on which Contra Dancing was conducted. And finally, the new grooms provided a bonfire just outside the tent, for that special mood created by folks standing around the fire getting cozy in the cool autumn air.
If you are ever planning a wedding, I suggest that you contact David and Griffin. They can give you a lot of good ideas to create an environment that seemed like a movable feast: a beautiful house to allow family and friends to mingle and get to know each other; a landscaped field where guests talked, servers moved, as if to music; children ran about with lots of laughter; and, over all, a relaxed and beaming couple conducted the whole thing with love in their hearts, smiles on their faces, and a kind solicitation for everyone.
So, in celebration with David and Griffin, let us all join in toasting them with these words of Rumi:
In companionship and happiness May you be like milk and honey In union and fidelity, Just like sugar and halva. May the blessings of those who toast And the one who pours the wine Anoint the ones who said Amen, and The one who said the prayer.