I was tempted to fulminate today about the stupidity of political rhetoric, but something more edifying came my way -- a wedding.

A woman our family first knew as a teen-aged babysitter, then as a college student of astonishing decency and poise, then a world traveler, yesterday became a wife.

Young people tend to believe upon taking their vows that they have grown up. They haven't, of course. With luck, the new couple someday will enjoy the blessing of children and experience the associated hopes, fears and nights of vague and sleepless worry. They will age together, work together, suffer together, laugh. Infatuation will melt into something more comfortable and durable. And in time, they will discover that no matter what lessons, glories and complications life presents to us, a small ember of remembrance inevitably guides us toward what we most cherish and need -- the comforting love we first felt when we enter the world.

Four generations of guests -- from five-year-old girls in party dresses and boys with slicked-down hair to grandmothers in wheelchairs -- provided ample testimony of that. Margaret and John are headed home now -- to New Zealand. In their wake will churn a hundred whispered prayers, and a hundred memories of a night when the cold winds pushed away the clouds and the icy stars winked upon 100 celebrants, all yearning to find love and a place called home.