Thirty-eight years. It doesn’t even surprise me anymore. We’ve been married longer than not, and loving each other for pretty much all of our adult lives (though the adult thing is open for interpretation). It’s a great gig, and we’re lucky to have it. The other night I was thinking that the thing about a long term marriage (or at least mine) is that you know when to leave each other alone. Or maybe that it’s ok to leave each other alone. I know that doesn’t sound romantic, but it’s just the flip side. Romance still shows up (doesn’t it?), but sometimes it’s simply paying attention to each other. Like how I paid attention to Steve’s love for his homegrown lettuce and kale, and am gifting him with the very romantic OXO salad spinner this year. And how if he loves me, truly loves me, he will bring me coffee, silently, and not say a word until I have finished the second cup.
We’re headed, as usual, to Point Reyes to celebrate. A few months ago, I wrote a poem that started out to be about bridges, and ended up being about marriage. It goes like this:
When the space feels too vast
between your breath and mine,
your courage and my fear,
or the other way around,
one of us has a map, already in hand.
That is how we’ve done it, all these years.
That is how we’ve crossed the bridge.
What made us say yes, oh yes,
under the oak tree in the meadow
before our family, friends and three dogs
in their festive bandanas?
We were so young, how did we know?
How could we imagine the span
we needed to build and cross?
Yes, oh yes, to safe passage,
a bridge, and the trust to keep going
through this life, and the next, and even the next.
You’ve been my bridge, and I’ve been yours.
We’re not yet to the other side.
Come. Hold on. Walk with me today.