Tuesday, May 22, 2018
I think my family’s invitation to the Royal wedding must have gotten lost in the mail. We have so many connections to them. My mother was raised in Madencroft Manor, which was built in the 14 century and among other things was Henry VIII’s hunting lodge and grounds for a period of time. Located in Gosmore (north of London) this incredibly beautiful building is now an outdoor education centre for children in England. My grandfather farmed Madencroft Manor for over 40 years. My mother has lots of stories about living there and she talks about how cool and drafty the building was because it was heated by fireplaces and she also talks about what it was like to have people live with them during the bombing of London. My Uncle Arthur was given two awards from the Queen herself. He was given the Military Cross for his bravery in WWII. He was also presented with the Member of the British Empire for his excellent organizing of sailing in the 1972 summer Olympics in Germany. In 2016 the Queen recognized leading entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom and my cousin, Phillip Shadbolt, attended a special ceremony to celebrate his work in environmental lighting (which is used in Buckingham Palace). And now there is a yoga teacher in the Royal family. It is a family that is evolving.
My parents came from England in 1958 and my sister and I grew up with an awareness of the Royal Family throughout our childhood. It always seemed magical, mystical and extravagant. So of course we got up to watch the wedding of Harry and Meghan on Saturday morning. We watched Charles and Diana get married, and Kate and William. I loved it when Peter Mansbridge was interviewed at the wedding and said that people can say whatever they want about all of the extravagance of this wedding, in the end the day was about 2 people in love and we need these positive stories to focus on every once in a while. The country comes together over events like this, or the Olympics or the Stanley Cup.
There were many beautiful moments in the ceremony and I personally loved when Michael Curry, the US bishop, spoke passionately about the power of love and he quoted Martin Luther King as well as the bible and others. "When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the Earth will be a sanctuary." I was also really in awe of Prince Phillip who walked into the church after having had hip surgery about 6 weeks ago. It was very inspiring for me because I work with many students who are recovering from injuries or illness and I always say “whatever is going on is part of the practice and we work quietly and respectfully with our bodies to recover and get strong.” If a 96 year old can recover and walk again, we all can. My own dad broke his hip 1.5 years ago at the age of 88 and his determination has gotten him better. The British are tough and they just keep carrying on. It’s a good lesson to pay attention to.