It’s been quite the month here at Tales of the Lonesome Pine New and Used Books. We’re in full-on publicity mode for the Oct. 2 book launch, have got Andrew the shopsitter comfortably installed, and just packed up Big Stone Celtic Festival.
Now we are very much looking forward to this Sunday, when we host the first ever bookshop wedding. Rachael and Wes have decided to tie the knot, and they’re doing it on our shop floor, as part of our monthly Society of Friends meeting (aka Quakers).
It’s very sweet. Here’s a pic of Wes and Rachael marching in the Big Stone Celtic parade Saturday past. They’re the ones in yellow tees, just walking out of frame.
Stuffing 45 or so guests into the shop may prove a challenge, but this is why Jack put some of the shelves on wheels–a practical tip we picked up from other bookshops during the Booking Down the Road Trip last Christmas.
It will be a Quaker ceremony, with the Presbyterian pastor from up the road–who knows Wes and Rachael from the monthly ideas discussion group they attend together here–officiating over government requirements involving licenses and signatures. The couple will be wearing street clothes, flowers limited to the usual Quaker tradition of having a plant on the table– symbolizing life and growth and thanks for God’s bounty–and the staff cats as bridal attendants. (Owen Meany is beside himself at the prospect of getting to carry the ring. We have practiced not swallowing it.)
And beneath the planning and the paperwork and ceremonial elements, something like a heart beats. We are so proud that Wes and Rachael chose this place, where–as they often say–they found a community to belong to and a faith they could sustain and be sustained by, to make this life commitment. The fact that Wes has been a worker bee here on many days when we needed a pinch-hitter means he knows our regular customers as well as Jack and I do. He’s part of the team that makes this a Third Place for everyone else.
So we’re very much looking forward to what could, if one wanted to wax sentimental, be described as a baptism of love washing over the books and the bookstore’s core people. And we’re excited; weddings are just plain great, especially when couples see them as a community display of what they already live privately. Wes and Rachael belong together, and the bookstore–physical books, Quaker society, and customer community–belongs to them.
It’s a full circle.