Monday, October 11, 2010

It Was A Miracle

["Let Inga Tell You", La Jolla Light, published December 17, 2009] © 2009

In this season of magic and miracles, it seemed appropriate to share a story related to my Catholic background. (I should mention I also have Protestant and Jewish backgrounds. Really busy time of year at our place.) Anyway, several years ago, my older son and his fiancée planned an outdoor wedding at the Cove. Normally the fall weather in La Jolla is clear and beautiful but that year, it was relentlessly, dismally gray. A co-worker of mine mentioned that where she came from in Michigan, people would hang a rosary from the clothesline the week of the wedding to ensure good weather. Which was amazing since they were Methodists. No, just kidding. So I’m thinking, can’t hurt, and I brought out the box of rosaries that my grandparents had given me over the years, many dedicated to specific saints. The first problem, of course, was we’re zoned against clothes lines. So it had to come down to the concept: I could run the rosary through the dryer but that might only succeed in getting a zillion beads wedged into the heating mechanism not only creating a massive repair bill but making drying facilities unavailable to the wedding party who were staying at my home. Going instead with the outdoor concept, I hung a particular nice strand on my orange tree. The weather, however, remained grimly gray.

The afternoon before the wedding as I was about to head toward the rehearsal, I listened to the forecast for the next day: more gray. Deciding that heavy artillery was called for, I brought out the whole box of rosaries and hung them ALL on the orange tree. The gardening guys who were just arriving looked at me a little nervously. But they did adhere to my admonitions to PLEASE watch the leaf blowers!

Well, the wedding day was just as dismal as the whole last six weeks had been. Just before I left for the Cove, I went out and said to the assorted saints, “I don’t think you’re giving this your full attention.” At the Cove, a nasty dark gray cloud bank had rolled in enveloping the site in gloom. But suddenly, at 2:50 p.m., ten minutes before the ceremony, the cloud bank started to recede into the horizon in a way I had never remembered before. (OK, I don’t hang out much at the Cove but it was still pretty impressive.) As the wedding procession began, the sun broke through and it continued to be warm and gorgeous, and when it got dark, the clear sky was full of stars. Laugh it you will, but it was the only Saturday night that whole fall with anything close to such good weather.

My grandparents always impressed upon me that saints don’t work for free, particularly where cloud dispersal services are involved. In gratitude, I subsequently performed what for me was a truly heroic act toward another person that I truly didn’t want to do. But even that produced some very unexpected positive bonuses. The only annoying part is that to this day, no one will credit my efforts for the miraculously great weather. Go figure.

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