This song (also known as ‘Walking Home’) was the song of Christmas 2020. It was in my head whenever I woke up, when I washed up, when in the car and not listening to Christmas FM. In terms of the year that was it feels like it was no accident.
We all grew up with the ‘Home Alone’ movies but only now does this song resonate. This year was tough, like many I haven’t physically seen my family in over a year, I don’t want to get into writing about the perils of lockdown but I will touch on it briefly. I merely wish to reflect on the year that was.
January 02nd 2020, I set off for Co. Limerick to perform at the first of my weddings for the year. In my mind I was happy in the knowledge that this was set the be the busiest year for me in the wedding business. I completed the wedding and stayed in Limerick for the night as I had a date with two of my cousins for afternoon tea at Adare Manor the next day. No masks, no making sure we were socially distanced, no sanitising our hands until they were red raw, just an awareness of our table manners were required for such an occassion. Life was good!
Alongside all these regular activitites I had started off the year with a 30 day Yoga journey with the Queen of Yoga herself, Yoga with Adriene. How was I to know that this journey was going to benefit more than just my vinyasas and core muscles? I recall mid-way through the 30 day journey that I started to notice changes. Not to my physical body, but to my mental health. My awareness of thought process, attitude to daily challenges and just letting things ‘just be’ was astonishing. The process of showing up on the mat and taking ownership of no other journey just my own, yet realising that there was a communiuty walking their own yoga journey and that if any one of us faltered we are there to look out for them was profound. This challenge was called ‘Home.’ It was a lesson not in yoga but in life.
Walking on through 2020, ‘Home’ translated from the mat to the everyday challenge that was a National Lockdown. Like many of my peers in the Wedding Industry, over the course of the spring and early summer I saw the diary of bookings for 2020 dissipate. Weekly zoom meetings started with a group of suppliers that are members of Weddingsuppliers.ie As a collective we were given a platform to support each other, voice our fears and our ideas whilst we each travelled our own path through the unkown that was a Global pandemic. Sound familiar? We didn’t give up hope. Weddings started to appear on the horizon and we all picked ourselve up and continued making the most out of the situation.
‘Precious Moments, special people, Happy faces, I can see…’
Just like my experience with ‘Home’, the beauty of 2020 was in the willingness and versatility for us all to allow ourselves to be open, vulnerable and see what happens.
Weddings went ahead. They were small, intimate affairs but this accentuated the ritual that took place. To me, stripping away the cosmetics that have shrouded a modern Irish wedding revealed the true authenticity of what takes place. I was so lucky to have a handful of weddings from July to the end of the year. Each one unique and special in it’s own way. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to share in these days and with some awesome people. Even behind the masks you could still see the happiness.
‘Living in my memory, all of the music, all of the magic, all of the family, home here with me.’
‘Somewhere in my Memory’ was the Bridal Entrance for the last wedding of 2020. The couple had battled like many others to make sure that they could have their special day this year starting with having to postpone in April, to self-isolating after travelling from Dubai, to restrictions coming in again immediately after Christmas that could have affected the outcome of the wedding yet again. To them it was all about being with their family and sharing in the day together. This wedding for me sums up what I have learnt from 2020. Breathe and believe! No matter what happens, providing you have those you love near the rest is a bonus.
Januray 2021. I had my first wedding of the year, a drinks reception at the stellar Castlemartyr Resort. I left the venue feeling happy to have started 2021 the way I hope it may continue, but knowing that I have to trust whatever the year may bring. One day in the future we will all be able to reunite with loved ones, attend the big white wedding and party ’til dawn. For now we just keep on walking, explore the road and see where it takes us.