Earlier this month I flew back to New England for the wedding of a friend I first met at the start of my freshman year at college when she and I and a third girl were all lumped together in one small dorm room.
The weekend began with a wine tasting at Saltwater Farm Vineyard, where the wedding would be held. For the record, trying out five different wines on an empty stomach is perhaps NOT the best idea one could have.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
The PosseThere was much taking of photos (somehow I refrained from accosting the photographer and running off with his awesome camera).
Everything was beautiful; fresh, friendly bouquets of sunflowers, organic vegetables and coffee, a carbon-offset donation for every guest in lieu of party favors, a father-daughter dance to Fleetwood Mac that brought pretty much everyone to tears, Sara's ah-mazing dress, and most of all the contentment of all being together again -- that friends-forever connection that feels like family.