Good Morning from Lookout Point,
Living near the Rockies always brings an air of uncertainty when planning outdoor events. This is never more evident than at spring time. The mountains affect weather patterns in unpredictable ways to the point weathermen often never see it coming. You know, that blizzard, wind burst, hailstorm, that is on a direct collision course with a wedding reception. These much planned and tightly scheduled family rituals often provide attendees with stories to tell and pass on forever. I was invited to one such gala affair with the wedding ceremony and reception to be held 8,000 feet up the mountain.
Lookout Point is truly magnificent as it’s perched on a ledge that overlooks 100’s of miles of forested mountainside with huge rock outcroppings for just the right visual mix. Outside of watching Galena wash beer mugs, it would be in most people’s top ten breathtaking views! Every detail, every subtly was anticipated and addressed with beauty and grace. From coat check to or’duerves, each task was addressed by lovely hostesses smiling through it all. However, one didn’t have to look very hard to spot the ones with bitter resentment behind the smile; no doubt stemming from being snubbed when selecting bridesmaids. Instead, they’re locked into doing something tedious, and then be a part of a clean up crew.
Prior to entering the chapel, each guest was handed what appeared to be one of those Chinese take-out boxes with the little tin handle. We were ushered to our seats and waited for the “Wedding March”. The boxes contained a butterfly larva that is timed to attain metamorphosis on cue. When directed, we the guests would open our boxes and release hundreds of butterflies; creating the ultimate ‘Kodak moment’.
It was a cool and blustery day but had just enough sunshine to make sitting in the outdoor cathedral bearable enjoying spectacular on a 360 degree scale. Mother Nature decided to intervene by kicking the wind up a couple notches. It was a steady 25 mph wind causing the plastic urns to be sandbagged as to keep them in place! With 40 to 50 mph gusts anything not tied down was blowing off the ledge.
The wedding started precisely on the hour, and the bride did indeed look stunning. The Groomsman stood ready alongside the good Pastor holding on to their top hats to keep them from flying off. This made them look as though they were part of some kind of Broadway show. As the bride made her way up the now anchored carpet, the wind made her vail look as though she was moving at 100 mph, and the bridesmaids were struggling to keep their dresses from blowing up over their heads. Finally they got to the kiss the bride part, and a matronly looking woman I assumed to be the brides mother signaled us to release these beautiful Monarchs. Three professional photographers stood ready as everyone popped open their box to release the captive insect. It was over instantly. The poor Monarchs were swept away by what had to be a 50 mph gust of wind. Later, I got to look at the pictures taken from the photographers who between the three of them flashed off a zillion shots hoping to get lucky. In the end though, all you could see were several hats, bouquets, but mostly dozens of butterfly containers flying off the ledge with a background of all the guests with hair-do’s blown horizontal. Didn’t see one distinctly orange Monarch in any picture! The poor bastard that paid for this probably shot himself!
While going through the reception line I was unable to stop from laughing! That said; I was invited by one of our own, and she should have known better. When we got to meet the mortified couple I tried to apologize but it’s hard to be sincere when you’re giggling! I finally was able to compose myself long enough to offer a good wishes hand shake. I’m not sure if one should read too much into those kinds of things as far as omens or other such pagan beliefs, but you’ve got to wonder about it. God I love spring time in the Rockies, don’t you?