Late May. Like the other wedding attendees, my eyes are on the corner of the main building as we wait for the bride. However, I’m not sitting down like them, because I’m in the wedding party, and the bride is my mother.
I hear murmurs, people praying that the rain holds off just a bit longer.
Finally, my little cousin comes and shouts, “The bride is coming! The bride is coming!”
Everyone stands. The music swells, then I see her, rounding the corner as the cameras flash. From my post with the other groomsmen, I watch her walk down the aisle. Her dreadlocks are arranged in a bun, and I admit to myself that she’s more beautiful right now than I’ve ever seen her in my life. She keeps walking and as she does, I accept that she is stepping into a new life for herself.
Vows are exchanged and, by law, things are done. But then my aunt comes forward with a broom. She places it before my mother and her husband while many in attendance smile and nod with understanding. Beyond the plain wooden handle and natural bristles, it’s adorned with silk ribbons, fresh flowers and colorful beads. I had always heard of jumping the broom, but I’d never seen it. As I watch my mother and her groom hold hands and prepare to jump, it makes me think of old time love, of Africa. In unison, they bend their knees, then leap to the clapping and laughter of everyone around them, including me.
By Phillip Counsel