A famous songwriter and a very influential figure of the Californian hippie movement, Eden Ahbez, once wrote a song for Nat King Cole. The song is called Nature Boy; it tells the story of a “strange, enchanted” boy, who had gone through an interesting life, had stories to tell about fools and kings and all sorts of things. Amongst all those things the boy mentions a lesson that – according to him – is the only one worth learning:
“The greatest thing
You’ll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
The rest is history: The song became a pop and jazz standard ever since it was published in 1948 and was covered by many major artists since then.
This weekend I was lucky enough to attend the wedding of two good friends of mine, and I felt like I was watching a couple that had really learned this lesson.
After having a kid and being together for what must be a decade or so now, they were still admiring each other, flirting, and laughing and partying together as if they had just met. It really made me very happy to watch them!
There were quite a few really sweet moments between the two people who got married: The groom told me that when he first saw his bride in her wedding dress in front of the church he got all shaky and nervous because he thought she was way too beautiful to be marrying HIM right now. She sang him a love song at the party afterwards – a moment that I could only witness through a blurry curtain of oh-so predictable tears – and he looked like he had to concentrate very hard to remember metabolizing. I think they are awesome and brave and very deserving of what they have. So well done, Sarah and Basti! And thank you for this beautiful wedding!
Seeing the girls with whom I had spent my first two crazy years of college together was such a pleasure, too. Seeing one of us getting married (and some of us still or again being all single and loopy) and partying almost like in the old days was really, really enjoyable. If anything, one thing has changed: As much as we really wanted to, we couldn’t fight our hangovers to go dancing the next night. Instead we stayed at home, cooked dinner and went all nuts over a simple massage tool made of metal that – when applied on your head – creates all sorts of intense sensations. But that’s another story.
My top five moments of the wedding:
5. When I came out to smoke a cigarette and drink my drink in peace and the (old) chaplain followed me out to ask me for my number. Amen, father.
4. Sarah singing a love song to Basti at the party.
3. Sarah’s father surprising Sarah by singing a pretty funky version of “all you need is love” in the church – at the very end of the ceremony.
2. Sarah, the bride, wearing my black leather jacket with her dress, smoking a cigarette and standing on a crate of beer at six o’clock in the morning, greeting the sun.
1. The whole crowd of guests dancing, chatting, and finally letting go of dozens of red heart-shaped balloons on an empty field. Cheesy, but a very happy and light-hearted moment, perfectly capturing the atmosphere of the whole day.
After having spent two lazy hangover days in Dortmund with Melli, her boyfriend Pablo and Theresa, I am now ready to get into the train and visit my lovely mom and my friends from the good old high school years. I can’t wait to see everybody and to listen to their stories. Thank you Melli for such a wonderful stay at your home. You, and all the girls, of course, are very welcome to my home in London as soon as I’m back!
Have a good night’s sleep everyone, enjoy the song and remember: It really is never too late to learn.