I have the highest respect for Mother Nature. I protect her gifts and try my best to leave little impact when we are out in the woods…even with 40 guest. We scan our sites after ceremonies to make sure our guest have shown the same respect for the woods. We recycle. We don’t litter. We walk under spiderwebs rather than tear them down. We stop and move turtles off the road. We take bugs outside rather than squish them. We have an emergency bird box (just a shoe box with holes in it) for when bird hit our window and are knocked out…oh, the list goes on.
I give thanks to her every single morning and take the time at every amazing sunset to speak softly to her. I am thankful for every beautiful day here in the Red River Gorge. For I know Mother Nature appreciates that. I feel like my thru-hike a few years back brought me closer to her. She humbled me with tornados and flooded waters. And blessed me with beautiful evening light and protection when needed. After hiking those 315 miles thru Kentucky and Tennessee, I knew who was boss..that’s for sure!
Beauty is what you make it…and I happen to find beauty in the rain. And Mother Nature knows that. She blesses me with the rain to pull out the greens in the photos…she brings in the clouds to provide me with a soft light for my subjects. She will gift me with an amazing sunset on most days. But she likes to keep me on my toes. Every once in awhile she’ll bring in the rain…right up until ceremony time…and then the skies will clear up…just a little…just enough to provide us with a 20 minute window…and as soon as we are finished she’ll start tending to her lovely Red River Gorge once again as we pull out our umbrellas and head back down the trail.
This was such a day. The radar was solid green with spots of yellow. No chance of the steady rain letting up. And we had three weddings between 5pm and 8pm. For the first time in five years I questioned Mother Nature. As the thunder rolled roared in the distance for the first wedding I began to think maybe the next two would need to be inside. Right as we were finishing up the ceremony the light sprinkle turned into drops…and by the time we reached the car it was a steady rain. And it was a downpour as we waited for the 2nd wedding party to arrive…but alas, the skies cleared up and the birds started to sing…Mother Nature’s way of telling me to go ahead…it’s ok to wander down the trail a bit…
Again…we barely made it back to the car and it started up steady once again as we drove the winding roads. But, as it usually does, the rain cleared up as we approached the location for the final and last wedding. This time we had a bit of a hike…we checked the radar and the bride said to go for it (we love our brides…they are so laid back!). When we reached the overlook we were greeted with this beautiful, quiet fog throughout the valley below…it made for some amazing photographs! And…just like the two weddings before…as soon as we were finished with the ceremony the rains began again and it was a steady downpour up until the next morning.
And over the past five years, this is how the rainy wedding days go down here. I’m sure if you ask around you will hear countless My Tiny Wedding Brides tell stories of Mother Nature blessing them no rain or a valley of gorgeous fog or an amazing sunset or the song of the whippoorwills during the ceremony or the gorgeous lighting scraping across the Kentucky hills. She has so many gifts that she lays out before our eyes every day of the year…and we should all take the time to stop and take a moment to give her thanks.