The sisters Zoe and Chris are walking around a dolmen. They are on a holiday in Havelte, the Netherlands. "This is where we celebrated Aunt Monica and Uncle Henk's wedding day," their father tells them. He points to a clearing just in front of the dolmen: "Look, we have made a gate there, through which the bride and groom walked. On one side seven women were standing and on the other side there were seven men. At that very moment, a buzzard came flying towards us. Coincidence?"
"Why did they do that?", Chris asks. "Your aunt and uncle got married in the Celtic way, via handfasting," their father explains. "They wanted their ancestors to be honoured at that important moment in their lives. By making a gate out of seven men and women and walking through it, they were reflecting on the seven generations before them and looking after the seven generations to come after them. There were two musicians beating drums in a rhythm similar to our heartbeat. I think that is why the buzzard came flying towards us."
Chris and Zoe are silent. That must have been very special. "I still don't understand everything you say," Chris says. What is handfasting and who is meant by ancestors and the seven generations before and after us?" Father continues: "In the originally Celtic ritual of handfasting, two people are connected by a cord. This is a physical cord that is loosely wrapped around the wrists and that symbolises the bond you have with each other. This can be for a year and a day and for as long as the love lasts. By ancestors, we mean the people who lived before you, such as grandparents, grandparents' parents, and so on. Just like you girls will be the ancestors of the next generations."
Zoe has not finished yet: "Why was the wedding here, these are actually gravestones, aren't they? Their father looks thoughtful: "Actually, nobody is quite sure what the dolmens stand for. It is said that the dolmens are built on special power places and that a dolmen is a mystical place itself. Maybe that is why Monica and Henk confirmed their connection here. You'll have to ask them again.