The Dirtbag Ministry Co-Op: The Vows

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Upon request from a number of folks, including the bride, I’m posting the vows I prepared for Trevor and Lana’s wedding atop The Rectory in Castle Valley, UT. There were some teary eyes, but no one cried. I consider this a small failure…

Dirtbags, friends, barely known but already adored taggers-along, welcome to the suffer-fest and wedding ceremony of Trevor Wood and Lana Morris on top of Fine Jade, three pitches, 5.11a. From way up here, a place odd and weird and a place like home to all of us, Trevor and Lana join their lives in the union of marriage.

To all their smelly and lovely guests, they are happy to share this moment with you. They have known some of you for years, others for literally hours. You have climbed with them, spotted them, shared campfires and perhaps too many libations with them. Hangovers have been counted. It is only fitting – especially since you were fit enough to follow them up Fine Jade – that you are the ones to share this once-in-a-lifetime moment with them.

As 2012 came to a close, both Trevor and Lana, sport climbing in El Portrero Chico in separate parties, met in less than auspicious circumstances. It was (not quite literally but you never really know about this stuff) the end of the world. The conclusion of the Mayan Calendar drew nigh… The National Enquirer told us the world’s reckoning was at hand. Those with wet brains prepared for the coming of…whatever. Trevor and Lana opted to climb. They had met a couple of days before. Lana, intrigued by this strapping Scotsman, left a note for Trevor to find. It read:
“Trevor!! The world ends tomorrow. Come see me! – Lana.”
Trevor still has the tiny scrap of pink paper upon which she wrote her apocalyptic note. I now quote Trevor:
“I was cooked drunk on tequila from the night before…”

Perhaps with thoughts of the coming Armageddon close at hand, Trevor and Lana headed up a route called The Devil’s Path. And so love is sometimes born. As they launched above the ground in Portrero so did their romance grow, taking them to Scotland, England, Wales, Spain, Canada and all across the United States, climbing high and fast to keep pace with their budding romance.

And so it is that Trevor and Lana present themselves to be married today, surrounded by the people that share their passions and entwine themselves upon their adventurous lives.

I’d now like to share a traditional Navajo blessing, a fitting tribute in this ancestral Navajo homeland, a place swelling with Navajo sandstone.

“May you find the strength of an eagle’s wings,
And the courage and faith to soar to great heights,
And may you be granted the Universal wisdom
to carry you there.”

You both look forward to a shared future that ever get to realize. Yours is a life of adventure enriched by love. Yours is a life of desert towers and riddled limestone, a life of music and party afros and photos that will never quite capture the grace with which you’ll travel. Yours is a life, well-lived and honest and true, a life in which your careful belays and spots are now both metaphor and reality.

The years will come and go. The adventures will unravel like an uncoiled rope, but you won’t ever take each other for granted. You will laugh a lot, you will be the best of friends you can be, you will grow old and wise and one of you, statistically speaking, will eventually lose at least 87 percent of his hair.

You’re going to write a good story together. It’s going to keep you and you and all of us rapt. It’s going to be a love story.

I’d now like to read a poem entitled, “Yes, I’ll Marry You, My Dear.”

“Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear.
And there’s the reason why.
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry.
And if we hear a knocking
And it’s creepy and it’s late,
I hand you the flashlight,
And you investigate.

Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear,
You not apprehend it
But when the tumble-drier goes
It’s you that has to mend it.
You have to face the neighbor
Should our little dog attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me
It’s you that has to whack him.

Yes, I’ll marry you,
You’re virile and you’re lean.
My house is like a pig sty
You can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candlelight
As I drink margaritas,
You can cook it every night!

It’s you who has to work the drill
And put up curtain track,
And when I’ve got PMS
It’s you who gets the flack.
I do see great advantages
But none of them for you
And so before you see the light
I DO, I DO, I DO!!”

We come now to the words Trevor and Lana want to hear most today…the words that take them across the threshold from being engaged, sort of, to being married. A marriage, as most of us dirtbags understand it, is a voluntary and full commitment. It is forged in the deepest sense to the exclusion of all others, and it is entered into with the desire and hope that it will last for life. Forever…

Before you declare your vows to one another, I want to hear you confirm that it is indeed your intention to get hitched today.

Lana, do you climb this three pitch desert tower freely and without reservation to give yourself to Trevor in marriage? If so, answer, “I do.”

Trevor, do you climb this three pitch desert tower freely and without reservation to give yourself to Lana in marriage? If so, answer, “I do.”

Trevor and Lana, having heard that it is your intention to be married to each other and as a pledge of your love, I now ask you to present one another with the vows you have prepared.

Trevor: [Pulled his vows from beneath his party afro wig…]
Lana: [Pulled her vows from her cleavage…]

Thank you. Please face one another and hold gnarly, taped, bloody hands.

Lana, please repeat after me:

I, Lana, take you, Trevor, to be my husband. I will share my life with yours, build our dreams together, support you through times of trouble and hairy cruxes, and rejoice with you in times of happiness. I promise to give you love and loyalty, through all the trials and triumphs of our lives. This commitment is made in love, kept in faith, lived in hope and made new on every long pitch, every new day of our lives.

Trevor, please repeat after me:

I, Trevor, take you, Lana, to be my wife. I will share my life with yours, build our dreams together, support you through times of trouble and hairy cruxes, and rejoice with you in times of happiness. I promise to give you love and loyalty, through all the trials and triumphs of our lives. This commitment is made in love, kept in faith, lived in hope and made new on every long pitch, every new day of our lives.

Your wedding rings are the outward and visible sign of the inward and invisible bond which already unites your two hearts in love. I ask Sarah to give Lana’s ring to Trevor. Trevor, place the ring on Lana’s beaten-up finger and repeat after me:

I give you this ring.
It is forged out of love.
This ring has no end and my love is also forever.

Sarah, now please give Trevor’s ring to Lana. Lana, place the ring on Trevor’s gnarly finger and repeat after me:

I give you this ring.
It is forged out of love.
This ring has no end and my love is also forever.

May the wedding rings you exchanged today remind you always that you are surrounded by enduring love. And also the colors of the American flag, obviously.

And now a very brief quote from that most famous of romance poets, Albert Einstein:

“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. Now that’s relativity.”

Trevor and Lana, you have just committed yourselves – one to the other – by the pledge of your marriage vows and the exchange of wedding rings. Your lives are now one.

And now, let’s get this party started! By the power vested in me by a website on the internets, it is my distinct honor and delight to declare you husband and wife. It’s about time you seal this declaration with a kiss!

Dirtbags, I present you Trevor and Lana Wood!

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