On the last day of September, in the golden light of a beautiful, crisp fall day, I stood hand in hand with my beloved in a grassy hollow at the edge of the salt marsh. Surrounded by dear friends and family, with the sun setting behind us over the river mouth, we pledged to spend the rest of our lives together. We exchanged rings, and after a kiss to seal our union, stepped forward into the center of the circle our guests had formed. They sang “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” to us as we danced.

I never imagined a wedding ceremony could be so perfect.

Anyone who reads my column knows that I have a special affinity for the North and South Rivers. Since I was sixteen, these waterways have been an integral part of my life —for inspiration, recreation, a sense of home. It seemed only natural that such a significant event as my wedding take place near these waters. Lucky for me, my husband, who has his own ties to the rivers, agreed.

And so we gathered just over a month ago at the Marshfield YWCA, on the banks of Little’s Creek, to celebrate our marriage.

Little’s Creek snakes through the salt marsh behind the YWCA, all the way out to the South River. A short distance downstream is the confluence of the North and South Rivers, and just beyond that, the river mouth, the connection to the sea.

Taken individually, the North and South Rivers are quite different in character — one quieter, or more forceful, or more well-known than the other. Each is able to stand alone, but they exist as a set, strengthening each other.

Viewed from above, these rivers embrace the town of Marshfield. From the place where they flow together, they reach out like two arms encircling a loved one. Regarding the landscape thus as a human body, Little’s Creek and the YWCA — the setting for our wedding — sit right at the heart.

Human relationships are portable: they do not appear to be tied to the land. But I wonder if landscape, like other, more obvious influences such as work, health and family, can affect the way a couple lives and grows together. Wedded in the embrace of two strong rivers flowing to the sea, I consider my husband and I to be blessed.

by Kezia Bacon Bernstein, Correspondent
November 2000

Kezia Bacon Bernstein’s articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to the preservation, restoration, maintenance and conservation of the North and South Rivers and their watershed. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168.