Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Moments in Marriage: Thirty-Six Years

It was love for the grandchildren that made us return from our 5-day anniversary getaway.  Pure, sacrificial love. If we hadn’t come home, I can just imagine all our young granddaughters asking, “Why didn’t Mimi and Papi come home? Don’t they miss us?” And yes, we would have missed them, and the grandsons, too.

But our 36th wedding anniversary celebration was indeed a celebration. A private celebration of us.  And we didn’t want it to end.

We had taken our hiking gear because Arkansas has some great trails.

But the cabin we had chosen for our getaway was so secluded we felt the entire world was our own. Think Adam and Eve.

So once we got settled in, we didn’t leave it until check-out time.

The weather was so pleasant we kept the doors open to hear the sounds of the woods and enjoy the soft breezes that blew through the valley.

We enjoyed sunrises.

And moonrises.

And views from the hot tub.

In a long-term marriage, you have to nurture the magic that brought you together in the first place. You have to put some personal work into being fascinated with your partner and being fascinating to your partner. Emotionally. Physically. Intellectually. Spiritually.

But the pay-off is a rare depth that many have not or will not experience. A long-term marriage gives you the opportunity to appreciate how far your partner has come, the entire person he is, and who he is becoming. Developing an openness together to dynamic change and growth is both inspiring and comforting.

In thirty-six years, our shoulders together have borne burdens, and I expect that labor is not done. But our lives are still open to small, calm pleasures that are not rare, and our hearts continue to dance in the joy of being together.

We continue to enjoy a celebration of us.