Play Days at the Big Pond

Jay Miller building a fire a few years ago

My son Will spent the first five years
of his life
here on the farm.
And, honestly, he was thrilled to get to move to town.
“The sidewalks go all the way to Oklahoma City!”
he told me when we moved to Enid.
We visited the farm often
and, an only child,
he usually brought friends with him.
One of them was Tanner Bryan.
Another was Jay Miller.
The stories of adventures they had on the farm
are now legendary among their friends.
Will lives in Los Angeles now,
and when he’s home,
back on the farm,
friends still come to visit.
I am so grateful
they all have time on the farm,
roaming the pastures,
playing on the pond,
jumping hay bales,
taking night-time walks.
And I like to think
that freedom in nature
helped form them,
just a little,
into the fine young people they are today.

So it was a great joy
when Jay Miller and his fiance Erin Nordquist
asked if they could get married at the farm—
on the prairie,
atop the hill
overlooking the Big Pond.
Both Jay and Erin are nature-lovers,
outdoor adventurers,
and conscious of protecting the environment.
It seemed perfectly fitting
that they begin their married life together
in a simple ceremony
on the windy prairie
surrounded by a vast sky,
with a view of the world
that goes on forever,
and held in love and well-being
by scores of happy family and friends.

Family and friends follow Jay and pastor Bill Inglish
onto the prairie to the top of the hill.

Erin’s father, Mark, built a canopy
from fallen native brush.

The wedding party processes across the prairie

Tanner plays sweet, sweet music.

Jay and Erin proclaim their love and promises

Bride and groom take the shortcut
back from the hill

Erin and Jay

We are here,
back on the farm,
because we are fortunate
to have been gifted with care of this land.
We are here,
back on the farm,
because we are profoundly concerned
about the health of the planet.
We are here,
back on the farm,
to give people the opportunity
to connect again with the natural world
and learn to live sustainably with it.
We are here,
back on the farm,
for days like this—
when we get to celebrate
the coming together
of two young people
who not only care deeply about each other,
but also the planet.

They are off
to the world now,
and still
we hold them
with the everlasting bond
of the prairie.