When someone close to me dies, I’m shortly thereafter reminded of the circle of life.

Following my grandfather’s recent passing, I vividly recall an influx of infants and young children swarming the Toronto Pearson Airport. Again, while spending a string of days and nights at my grandmother’s house, I played with a lovely little boy who innocently reminded me that when one spectacular life ends, another begins.

The moment that touched me most profoundly occurred shortly after I arrived at my grandparents’ home. While funeral preparations were being made, I received a beautiful message from Kirsten, my close friend and bride-to-be. She asked me to read a poem at her upcoming nuptials to Steven. My eyes filled with tears and I felt a deep sense of appreciation and obligation during a time that was otherwise characterized by helplessness.

Kirsten and Steve were married on Saturday, September 7th in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I would like to share with you the poem I read during their incredible ceremony.

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I have this theory that before two people are united in marriage, they should: live together, spend some time apart, and most importantly, travel together. Steven and Kirsten truly epitomize this statement having moved all the way to New Zealand and in the process, setting the perfect example of what a relationship should be. I have known Kirsten since grade school, but witnessing her navigate the foreign land of New Zealand with Steve was an eye-opening experience. During our summer road trips, my younger sister, Natalie enderingly referred to them as mom and dad as we sat in the back of the station wagon, listening attentively to Steve’s life advice on everything from managing our finances, travelling the world on a shoestring, and deciding one’s profession. We all joked that this was their pre-marriage, trial period.

I am honoured to be here today with all of Steve and Kirsten’s cherished family members and friends. I would like to share a poem that I discovered in Wellington, where the couple resided during their overseas travels and dedicate it to their New Zealand friends and flatmates who could not join us today, but who are such a large part of their journey together:

Love Poem – Cameron Hockly

There is nothing timid or meandering about my love for you,
it does not head to the shop
for a bottle of milk and a newspaper
only to find itself in town,
browsing at umbrellas and suit jackets.
Although it does notice camellia trees,
the recently pruned climbing roses.

My love for you is not a walk in the park,
although we may, in love, walk in the park.
This love I have for you
is not off the cuff, or impromptu,
which is not to say that my love for you is rehearsal
and performance.

Nothing about it is calculated or expected,
it was not written in the sky
or the sandy fields by the beach,
if it was written anywhere,
it would be on the pathway
next to the pool,
between our bodies,
as we lie there, drying.
Dipping out fingers in the water
and leaving wet notes for each other.
Chlorine in our hair.
Skin baking on the concrete.
Almost warm enough to get back in.

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