The wedding ring has its origins on the banks of the Nile. The circle is a symbol of eternity to the Egyptians, and they would fashion rings and bracelets out of the sedges, rushes and reeds growing along the river. To them, the hole in the center of the ring was equally important: a gateway to things and events unknown.
The Egyptians wore ring on the third finger of the left hand because of a belief that the vein of that finger directly traveled from the heart. The Romans later adopted this practice and called the vessel the “vena amoris”—the vein of love.
Over time and cultures, the substrate used to fashion the rings has evolved from reeds to leather to metal. Most commonly, wedding bands now are made of gold–a symbol that the groom has enough wealth to take care of his beloved.
When Josh and I got engaged in December of 2011, what we lacked in financial resources we subsidized with a creative spirit (and talented friends!)
At a surprise engagement party thrown for Josh, I placed upon his finger a ring that had been carefully planned with Michael McCarthy, the blacksmith who is one of the founding members of our B. 1802 Rural Artist Collective and who creates many of the metal items for Beekman 1802.
Michael is skilled with working with any type of metal, but we chose steel because of its strength–something that any enduring relationship needs.
We left the edges of the ring in their rough, organic state, because no relationship is perfectly smooth. There will always be rough patches.
We lined the inside of the ring with silver because, so it seems, that no matter the trials and tribulations that we have faced over the 15 years that we have been together, we’ve always been able to find a silver lining no matter how elusive.
Next Spring, when we plan to walk down a path through the fields of Beekman Farm, we have no idea what will lie beyond that gateway.
But it will be fabulous.