On the shore 
And I will learn/
I will learn to love/
The skies/

- Hopeless Wanderer, Mumford & Sons

The picture is the scene at Brodyk Lake near Smoky Lake last Saturday afternoon, and under the sky on the black mat is Shelagh's nephew David waiting for his bride T.J., considering his great fortune, as the pair prepare, in front of their friends and family, to exchange wedding vows.

It was a spectacular setting, and we all felt we had stolen one from February. Indeed, only a few hours later the weather had transformed from mild to wild, as the sky greyed and the snow blew through. For better, for worse is the story of our connection to the weather here.

It wasn't the only nod to the land.

Designing women
There were ice-encased roses lining the path to the lake. The bride's bouquet had pine cones. The reception hall entranceway was flanked with potted birch trees in their budless, leafless February lack of glory. But glorious just the same. The table centrepieces featured candles floating above twigs sitting on a cut of birch log. And the exclamation mark, actually about 35 of them, were birch trunks set into place on an organza-strewn frame that served as the backdrop for the head table.

It was really neat. This wasn't an import-your-basic-out-of-season, out-of-territory flowers and plants. It was Alberta in Feb.

You couldn't miss the message: this is where we're from, this is who we are, and our love of this place is part of our love story.

Shelagh and Dave
Thanks to Dave and T.J., long live your Alberta sensibility, and good luck through all the weather ahead.


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