A wedding present
In a far away land called “HEARTH” (pronounced ‘Heart’, à la française), the wedding, deep in a woodland grove, came to an end. The lovers had plighted their troth and exchanged rings and had been blessed by the Rowan lady. Now it was her turn to address them. She handed them something wrapped in a woven grass cover, decorated with the last of the year’s thistle heads, already turning to thistledown. Inside was a dream catcher.
She explained to them thus:
"Hang the dream catcher above your bed so that it will catch any nightmares before they can disturb your sleep. But there is more. The circle represents the circle of your union and will contain all that you put into it. When you feel sad, it will comfort you and, if you hang it in a tree out of doors, it will sing to you as the wind plucks the strings, like an aeolian harp."
And so the couple lived their married life with all the usual ups and downs, moments of true happiness and moments of deep sadness. As the years went by the beads lost their bright colour as they faded in the sunlight and the feathers slowly drooped, lost their lustre and, one by one, flew away until only the strings remained. In later years, on sad days, they hung the dream catcher in the apple tree and the wind sang its songs of happier memories and replayed their dreams to them once more, thus lulling them to peace again, for their dreams had become forever entwined in its threads and no matter how threadbare their lives or the dream catcher became, there was always something there to give them heart.
Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth for the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
for each of you will be companion for the other.
Now you are two persons,
but there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling to enter into
the days of your life together.
And may your days be good,
and long upon the earth.
(native apache wedding prayer)