My sister married on Saturday.
Like any other, this wedding had the magic of a Norman Rockwell painting.
There were the bride and groom and their families, friends and other well-wishers, united in their experience.
The old and the young, the ornery and the sweet, faces diverse and similar, all beatific under the spell of the ancient ceremony.
Forever after, all share this memory.
Children made their first public ceremonial performance.
The frightened 5-year-old flower girl learned the meaning of rising to the occasion.
Two boys who quaked down the aisle together in their squeaky new shoes found a brother of the heart and became inseparable.
Rings were retrieved from their wrongful places to rest on their lifelong homes.
Flowers were forgotten by the bride and carried by the matron of honor.
Nothing could be more symbolic than the unity candle, lighted under direction of the pastor by the bride and groom, burning faithfully throughout their first walk together as husband and wife.
Two families, previously strangers, delighted in the union of two people, and in the addition of new members to their circle.
The reunions of these far-flung families became a celebration of the creation of a new and larger one.
Friendships were made, and renewed.
Goddaughter met godmother.
Pictures of just about everyone were admired and studied for family resemblance.
The newlyweds drove off betwixt windows soaped with good wishes to the tune of clanking cans tied to the bumper with fumbles that would have horrified the CIA.
The name of the gentleman who married my sister, Kathy? Jim Rice.
No relation, of course, until now.
You've spent years off the field watching your offspring playing baseball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, swimming or other sports.
As your children have gotten in shape, perhaps you've lost yours.
You've joked with others that you wish you could join a team like that, it looks like such fun, and it's so good for you.
All those mothers who have spent years watching their children playing regulated sports and wishing they could do the same now have a soccer team to join.
The women's teams play from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday nights at Supersports in Eldersburg. Anyone wishing to join may come to an informational meeting at Supersports at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow. All women are welcome; the cost to join is $20.
"All you really need are shinguards and a sense of humor," said Kathy Horneman, an Eldersburg resident who helped organize the teams.
"We're all in our 30s and 40s, and most of us never played the game before, and we certainly haven't played for years," she said. "We borrow our kids' shinguards!
"We started out with four-minute quarters, and we're really proud of ourselves for working up to regulation length [10 minutes]."
Children are welcome, of course, as spectators.
"Our kids get a big kick out of watching us play," Ms. Horneman said. "When we come off the field winded, they run up to us with water bottles.
"They give us tips, too, like telling us to kick the ball to the left," she said. "It's really funny."
Ms. Horneman said she and her friend, Jean Waagbo, approached Mark Hughes at Supersports in Eldersburg to suggest the teams last spring.
"I think at first he thought we were crazy," she said.
"But he agreed, and now we've got several teams to play," she said. "We're interested in all those moms who've been watching their kids on the sidelines for years and want to have some fun themselves.
"Believe me, nobody has an edge on you."
For information, call Ms. Horneman at 549-1730 or Ms. Waagbo at 781-4735.