We have recently started looking at wedding bands. Let’s just say, the day is coming closer and wedding bands are becoming a priority and a topic of conversation. My first thoughts were – simple single banded wedding band. Something that symbolises the simplicity and pureness of love. Tonight after playing around on the web, the Russian Wedding Band caught my eye. Apart from the fact that it is an absolutely beautiful ring, my childhood is flogged with memories and a love for the person that always wore hers. My grandmother had Russian Wedding band and as much as I would love to be able to ask her the about the story behind the ring and whether it was from the grandfather I never knew, that will have to wait until one day when I can ask her, one day in heaven.
The Russian ring is 3 interlocking rings, traditionally in 3 different colours. The 3 bands is a Christian symbol, representing the Holy Trinity. Other meanings around the web include: Faith, Hope and Love. And Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. All of these represent the things I would love my marriage to represent however the following story, found here, blew me away, so much so that I have to share it here. The story goes as follow:
My father used to manage small hotels in the Free State when I was a little boy.
It was not common for people to stay there for any length of time, people just passed through going from one place to another: overnighting for at most a night or two.
Mostly they were travelling salesman, or people migrating from the big city to the coast, or vice versa.
I remember one couple very clearly, though. They were foreigners, and spoke in a rather strange tongue. And although she was a remarkably beautiful woman (I could see that, even though I was a very young boy) it was the strange ring that she had on her wedding finger that struck me the most.
It was actually 3 interlocking rings, a sort of a puzzle ring, and each ring a different colour of gold.
I asked my mother what it was. She told me it was a Russian wedding ring. “Oh”, I said. “What’s that?”
Well, in those far-off days, mothers never had the Internet to go to, and trekking off to the library to look things up in the Encyclopaedia was not going to answer the question for a persistent little boy!
So she did the next best thing, which was to tell me a story.
My mother’s story
She told me that marriage was about two people who loved each other.
She told me that the ring was a symbol of this love, as all wedding rings are.
But, she told me, this ring brought together the three most important things of a loving relationship.
The white gold ring, she told me, is softer than the other golds. Being softer, it will take the shape of the finger. “Love is like that”, she said. “In the journey through life, two people in love have to change their shape. They have to give some things up, and take other things on. To become a family each one has to move towards the other”. So that’s what the white gold represents: bending towards each other.
Yellow gold, on the other hand, is very hard. You can bump it and knock it, and afterwards, all you had to do is to give it a hard rub, and there it would be: all bright and shining again. “Life is like that” she said. “It’s not easy. Sometimes things are really difficult. Then you have to support each other. Sometimes love has to be hard”. So this is what the Yellow Gold represents: the strength to get through life, and then come out on the other side all bright and shiny and new.
Then she was silent for a time. So I asked her “what about the red gold mommy?”
It took her a moment before she answered.
“Have you ever seen red gold before?” she asked softly.
“No”, I replied.
“Well,” she said, “Red Gold is rare”. “And love”, she said “is just as rare. When you find it, when you finally have it, you must look after it. You have to protect it. If you lose it it might never come back to you again”. And that is what the Red Gold represents: that Love must be cherished, because life is short and every moment spent without love is a moment lost forever.
Maybe it is the little boys in life that has me relating to this story. Maybe it’s the awesome meaning behind the different metals and the creative inspiration of a mother. Maybe it is all of the above and the thought of the people I aspire to be like, women like my grandmother. All I can really stay is that I have fallen in love with the Russian Wedding Ring and all it represents and that is what my heart wants!