The love basket
By Lynda Shadbolt
Published April 10, 2018
I just love it when I find myself in the middle of something that is so beautiful – so intentional and uplifting. These kinds of experiences don’t just happen out the blue. They are the result of careful planning, attention and focused love.
I often say in my yoga classes that every pose is a piece of art that we are crafting. We pay careful attention to all the details (placement of feet, softness of eyes, the lengthening of the spine etc.) and then a powerful pose is the result.
This weekend I had the honour of attending a lovingly composed wedding shower for a very special woman. The invitation from the bride-to-be’s mother said “Please consider bringing a blessing, an affirmation, a poem, a reading, a memory, or some advice for the new bride as she enters this new phase of her life. You can write it down and read it to her during our sharing circle, and then place it in her ‘love basket’ for future reference. Also, please feel free to bring a small natural object (a stone, a shell, a piece of bark or moss, a glass or wooden bead, etc.) to use in decorating the ‘love basket.’ This will be a collaborative effort to work on while you are here.”
I arrived at the shower and women were sitting in small circles chatting about their lives and enjoying really yummy snacks. The bride-to-be was opening gifts as each person took theirs to her. It was so relaxed and the bride got to spend a few minutes chatting to each woman as she opened their gift. At the same time people were upstairs decorating the love basket (and there were extra supplies if you didn’t bring anything).
Halfway through the afternoon, the entire group of aunts, cousins and friends gathered together and the love basket was placed on the table in front of the bride. The basket was made of grape vine and was very creatively decorated.
We each introduced ourselves and our relationship to the bride, and then read our wish or blessing for her. I can’t tell you how beautiful it was. The bride sat and listened to women tell her why they loved her, how much she has meant to them. She listened to humorous and touching pieces of advice for marriage. Beautiful poems were read. Each message was place into the love basket and this bride will have it as a reminder for the rest of her life.
Then we each shared what we put on the basket and why. Again, it was so moving. Her mother had cut a piece of her wedding dress and wrapped it on. Her mother-in-law-to-be wrapped a beautiful stone in silver that her husband had given her many years ago and was so precious to her. A local potter put a pottery heart from herself, a wooden heart from her husband, a wee key from her eight-year-old son and an acorn from her six-year-old son. It was so touching.
One woman brought a small ceramic angel that the bride had given her when she was a little girl. The bride had written on the back “an angel for an angel.” It was such a special afternoon and I left so full of love for this woman, for my friends, my marriage and the life that I have. I think we all need more of these kinds of affirming experiences these days.
I know I personally need to turn off of my phone and get off of the couch more and participate in uplifting experiences. The world needs more love baskets.