This weekend, I went to a wedding and was reminded of how much I love celebrations. Whether it's a wedding, an anniversary, a birthday or New Year's Eve, I love the clinking of glasses, pausing to toast life's milestones, major or minor as they may be. I suppose that could be my unquenchable love for wine talking, but I do find these moments to be truly beautiful. They can be seen as breaks from ordinary life, the exception to the rule as it were, but I like to think these special occasions are part of our ordinariness.
New Year's Eve is just another page of the calendar, but since it's the last page, we mark its significance. A birthday is much the same, just another day of ageing, another page, but to think that 26, 33, 79 years from this exact date, you arrived on this planet, that seems like something well worth celebrating. It's a New Year's Eve party a few years ago that sets the scene for one of my happiest memories. Safe to say, the next day was a difficult one. I stood on the grass on a hill in a party dress, surrounded by my friends, singing Auld Lang Syne out of tune, spilling bubbly on the ground as fireworks lit up the sky. I remember feeling completely at ease.
That's the feeling I normally get at some point in any celebratory setting, that feeling of perfect contentment. I'll stop, look around at the gathering of people and soak in the atmosphere. I soak in how beautiful it is that all these ordinary, amazing humans have come together, dressed up in their finest clothes and filled their glasses to the brim to toast whatever it is we're all there for. A lot of us may be strangers, but for that evening we share a dance floor, we listen to each other's stories, catch up with old friends and make new ones. We clink glasses. A wedding becomes the ultimate accumulation of this joy as it doesn't get more beautiful than the act of gathering to celebrate two people vowing to love each other forever. I know I'm being entirely naive here, but I can't help it, because in that moment of celebration, nothing else matters.
So on Saturday I stood with a view of this city I love, the sky bright blue and joy filled me to the point where it threatened to leak out in tears. There she was, one of my oldest friends in a long white dress, smiling wider than I've ever seen her smile. Now, after nursing our hangovers, we carry on living our wonderfully ordinary lives until we meet to celebrate again. These moments are ours. These are our stories being written. So here's to the clinking of glasses!