Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gift From the Sea

Six years ago today, my husband and I were married in the back yard of a vacation rental in Maine. At the end of this month, we are returning to our wedding spot with our son for the first time since we took our wedding vows. Last week, we finalized the adoption of our beautiful baby boy. As I look forward to this trip and reflect on how far we have come in six years, I remember a passage we had read at our wedding.

As I remember these vows that were spoken six long years ago, I am overwhelmed with how important and necessary they truly were. Six years ago we were a young couple getting hitched, future ahead of us and no hint on the horizon of what would be in store for us on our journey to become parents. Now, on this special day - our first wedding anniversary as parents - I am called to put those words here and reflect. When I read them now, I am overcome by the power of love and what it truly means to work at a marriage.

To my husband, truer words were never uttered:
“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.”

― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

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