Thursday, January 17, 2013

For my Husband on our Anniversary (or Thereabouts)

(Tuesday was my thirteenth wedding anniversary and in the wintry slump of sick kids, it was tempting to feel a little discouraged.  And yet, there remains, between my husband and I, much to be encouraged about.  This post is for my husband, whom I love.)

*   *   *   *   *

The Wild Rose, by Wendell Berry

Sometimes hidden from me
in daily custom and in trust,
so that I live by you unaware

as by the beating of my heart.

Suddenly you flare in my sight,
a wild rose blooming at the edge
of thicket, grace and light
where yesterday was only shade,


and once again I am blessed,
choosing again what I chose before.

*   *   *   *   *

When two people stand, face-to-face, holding hands with their arms extended, as we did on our wedding day, they create a space that's more than the sum of each of them.  With their arms and bodies they frame-out a small and simple dwelling place; a room composed of both their separateness and togetherness, for Love encompasses both. 

Henri Nouwen suggests that marriage is a vocation to

              build together a house for God in this world. It is to be like the two cherubs
              whose outstretched wings sheltered the Ark of the Covenant and created
              a space where Yahweh could be present.  . . . the intimacy of marriage itself
              is an intimacy that is based on the common participation in a love greater
              than the love that two people can offer each other. (from "Clowning in Rome")

I’d be lying if I said I could’ve foreseen where we were headed all that long time ago.  Here we are thirteen years later doling out syringes of medicine while one of us runs a child to the doctor and the other juggles dinner and bedtime for three more. 

We are no longer who we were for good reason, but there’s an ease that comes with knowing each other for so long.  Enough so that you can bring me a twelve-pack of diet coke and a bag of Fritos, both wrapped in newspaper, for our anniversary and it means something more between us. 

There’s so much more love these days, more than we started with, for sure.  Love of a different depth and quality, as though in the beginning we loved in black and white and now love lives between and around us in a rainbow of different colors.  This love sparks and flies so, drifting off in so many different directions so that, sometimes, love like this, stretched so far, can seem diminished somehow against the wide expanse of life. 

Hold on tight, my love, don’t let go, though life pushes and pulls. This space, this dwelling place made by two becoming one, remains. 

I chose you, I choose you, again and again. 

(This post is linked with Imperfect Prose, for the prompt, "Engourage." To read other posts on this topic, click on Emily's buttong in the side-bar.)

2 comments:

  1. Wow. This picture, these words, this mystery, takes my breath away: "When two people stand, face-to-face, holding hands with their arms extended, as we did on our wedding day, they create a space that's more than the sum of each of them. With their arms and bodies they frame-out a small and simple dwelling place; a room composed of both their separateness and togetherness, for Love encompasses both." As someone who has not yet been married for one year, and it's been a very rough road, I thank you so much for your beautiful words. I needed to read this today.

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    1. Amber, yes, that first year can be such a struggle, there are so many expectations below the surface as you both struggle to figure out what it means, how it works out, that two become one. Blessings to you and yours in the joy and trials as you build a dwelling place for God!

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