Our Daughter Just Got Married …

… and we weren’t there. I know, that sounds weird. It sounds weird to me. Katie was married in India.

There will be a Canadian wedding in August and we are looking forward to being at that one.

happy couple

It was a difficult decision to make but one that wouldn’t have surprised anyone. Many years ago Michelle and I decided to stop flying. Putting carbon into the air is bad for the atmosphere, putting it into the air at 30,000 feet is even worse. Neither Michelle nor I had flown much in the past and we’d always felt that air travel just couldn’t be a good thing. Once our suspicions were confirmed we decided that keeping our feet on the ground was just one more way, albeit a big one, to lessen our carbon footprint.

Then our daughter Katie met a wonderful young man named Dhruva at university and one thing led to another and the next thing we knew they were engaged! Right from the start they talked about having a wedding in India, where many of Dhruva’s extended family members live. Dhruva is an exceptional young man and we are extremely pleased to add a son to our family. He is very traditional and asked our permission to propose. He actually did it several years ago when they were in India for his cousins’ wedding. In fact he proposed right in front of the Taj Mahal. Come on “The Bachelor,” try to beat that for romance!

Indian weddings are a big deal and involve many different events that take place over a number of days. One celebration is called the “Sangeet,” where everyone involved with the wedding performs… either dances, or sings or performs in some way. Dhruva had asked us to contribute and so we made a little video to introduce ourselves to Dhruva’s Indian friends and family. We explained why we weren’t there and gave a little tour of Sunflower Farm. It was great because we did it just after a big snow and Jasper the Wonder Dog was bounding through a foot and a half of snow.

We also made an “Outtakes” video because we made lots of mistakes. It was Michelle’s fault. We sat on the couch in the living room for the first part and Michelle said “Hi, I’m Cam Mather…” and that sort of set us off and for the next 15 minutes we couldn’t stop laughing. Later when we were filming the section where we thanked Dhruva’s family for all of their hard work organizing the Indian wedding, our cats, who usually want nothing to do with me, jumped up on the couch and made it hard to concentrate again. Oh and then Michelle had a hissy fit when I told her she didn’t look comfortable. All in all it was pretty darn funny.

Unfortunately (or as Michelle said, “Luckily,”) they decided not to play the outtakes at the wedding. Perhaps Katie didn’t want her new Indian friends and family members to think she had crazy parents!

Our eldest daughter did go to the wedding so we were glad to have someone to represent us there.

the 3 of them

I am very comfortable with my decision not to fly, although it is hard to miss important events like this. In his book “Heat,” George Monbiot says, “When you fly, you destroy other people’s lives.” When I see the President of the Maldives Islands at international climate change negotiations talking about how his nation is going to be lost, and soon, I feel better about not flying. Ali and his staff at Curry Original, our favorite restaurant in Kingston, are all from Bangladesh. Much of it is very low lying and the people there will suffer greatly from rising sea levels. I would never want to adversely affect the families of these folks who make such amazing food. I avoid effecting climatic conditions that may flood their families back home.

Call me a zealot, but I believe this is something in my control. I love my daughters and would have loved to attend Katie’s Indian wedding, but I am very much looking forward to her Canadian wedding. I cannot control this crazy little thing called love but I can control my actions. I have flown on planes before; I have done my damage, now I will stay put.

Katie and Dhruva streamed the wedding live on the internet so we got to watch it online. Can you imagine? Watching an event live from the other side of the world! Sometimes there’s something to all this technology. It was quite an event. So much color compared to North American weddings. So many traditions and rituals. So much rice and turmeric. (The photos are from screen shots we took during the event.)

wide scene

It was quite surreal actually when Katie walked in all done up in a beautiful sari with lots of henna all over her hands and arms from the Mehndi. Our lovely daughter Nicole was sitting right behind her, and she looked amazing too. Both our daughters, on the other side of the planet, in the warmth of India, at 4 o’clock in the morning (5 pm here) and Katie was getting married. Unreal!

And now our daughter is married and we have a son-in-law. Man do I feel old!


14 Responses to “Our Daughter Just Got Married …”

  • bruce mather:

    WONDERFUL!!!!!And Michelle, thanks for your techno help!!!!!Love and best wishes, S.&B

  • Musia:

    Congratulations !

  • John:

    Congratulations you guys. The bride and groom looked radiant. We wish you all much love,peace,and happiness.

  • Looks like a memorable wedding and I’m sure the Canadian version will be as well. Good for you all. The best to you and yours.

  • Lorna:

    I want to see the “outtakes”…..

  • Linda:

    Congrats to Katie and her new husband … best wishes to all <3

  • Neil:

    From meeting you both, and reading your blog going on three years, I feel like I know you well enough to send my hearty congratulations to the entire Mather family, which has now expanded in such a lovely way.

  • victoria:

    I too (and my husband) have made the decision not to fly again. I missed scattering my Mom’s ashes in the UK but you know what – my Mom, she would understand and I am sure your daughter does too. Congratulations!

  • John:

    I am sure Katie understands why you did not attend, good for the two of you for sticking to what you believe in. What a lucky young lady, she gets to have two weddings and to the same man. I am sure that does not happen often. Congrats.

  • Congratulations to you and your entire (new) family. Weddings are a wonderful celebration, but it’s the lifetime of experiences that have the most impact. The internet is wonderful by including you in the wedding as if you were really their in person.
    So take a deep breath and get ready for the Canadian version!

  • SteveR:

    Congrats on the wedding!
    People did travel even before airplanes and it is still possible today.
    You can hitch a ride on a container ship, for example:

  • Lorna:

    Congratulations to your daughter and her new husband; and to you and Michelle. We wish them all the best and many years of joy.

    It must have been a difficult decision not to attend, despite the strength of your convictions. So happy to hear you were able to ‘attend’ the wedding via the internet. Live streaming still boggles my imagination!

  • That must have been a hard decision to follow through on in light of the event. I love how you two stick to your convictions. Was your daughter understanding of this?

  • Gerrit:

    Congratulations to the Mather family! We wish them a long and happy life.

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About Cam
Cam Mather and his wife Michelle live independently off the electricity grid using the sun and wind to power their home and their CSA. Cam is working towards the goal of making his home “zero-carbon” and with his extensive garden he aims to grow as much of his own food as possible. He is available to speak at conferences and other events and has motivated many people to integrate renewable energy into their lives, reduce their footprint on the planet and get started on the path to personal food, fuel and financial independence.
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