Sunday, July 10, 2011

Getting to old age love

Richard and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary about one month ago. 30 years does seem like a long time, and I know we've a ways to go before our time together comes to an end.

Has it been an easy 30 years? Well...of course not. The miracle is we still have a strong love and appreciation for each other. This isn't the first marriage for either one of us. If someone had told me thirty-two years ago that I would meet someone with whom I would spend (hopefully) the rest of my life, I would have said, "Oh, boy, do I hope so!"

I really hope we make it to old age together. There is something about getting there and still caring for and appreciating each other that seems so rare nowadays. Beginning with my own generation, marriage has become a take-it or leave-it proposition for some people. Yes, there are times when divorce is necessary. Far be it from me to preach about what is right or wrong. It's a personal choice between yourself and God and your mate. Still, it will be a loss, like a small death, a story that comes to an end.

Sometimes, we have the choice made for us, thanks to today's divorce laws. So this makes it even more rare when people get to old age love. To that stage where you can look at the other person and know what they are thinking. To that point where your other does something which irritates you and you just say to yourself, "ahh, yes, that's just him being him." To the minute where he's sick and you suddenly think about what life would be like without him. How hard it would empty.

So where did this musing come from? Yesterday, I read a poem by Wendell Berry that speaks to me so beautifully of old age love. It's called "The Blue Robe." Enjoy.

The Blue Robe

How joyful to be together, alone
as when we were first joined
in our little house by the river
except that now we know

each other, as we did not then;
and now instead of two stories fumbling
to meet, we belong in one story
that the two, joining, made. And now

we touch each other with the tenderness
of mortals, who know themselves
how joyful to feel the heart quake

at the sight of a grandmother,
old friend in the morning light,
beautiful in her blue robe.
~ Wendell Berry

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