The Voyage of the Good Ship Marriage...
Written: 14th Feb 2006 | Last Updated: 14th Feb 2006
As I stand high on the prow of the ship that is our marriage, I turn to gaze back at our wake - the trailing white lines and pealing foam stirred by thirty-six years of travelling. Oh, the seas and oceans we have pushed…the straits we have traversed…the blissful calms and colourful ports we have known!
The journey has taken us from continent to continent, hemisphere to hemisphere…from the confidence and assurance of youth to the experience and humility of middle age. Even the craggy shores of old age are now in squinted view from the crow’s nest.
We have changed in a thousand ways, yet have stayed the same in others - as human beings our evolutions have been as parallel lines…like tram tracks sharing the load of the union. We have worked together at everything while remaining functioning individuals; we have independent engines but are, in fact, totally reliant on one another for fuel…for propelling love…for a sense of holistic purpose.
Our children - like seaworthy dinghies equipped with sails - have been cast-off and allowed to ply their own routes of discovery…they are so capable and only a little unsure of which sea-lanes to take or cross and which to avoid. They are making splendid passage - challenging themselves…even launching little dinghies of their own. We are en route to being a familial fleet!
The riches, fragrances, luscious fruits along the way have been satisfying - we have indeed touched a kind of paradise. Where we are on the map at this moment is therefore charged with emotion...buoyant with accomplishment yet also edgy with the promise of adventures ahead.
Seeing old age on the horizon isn’t too distressing…its inevitability is somewhat soothing, promising a quiet harbour…a steady mooring…glowing sunrises and sunsets…reflective pools on still days, whipped, grey wavelets when the wind blows hard. All conditions well understood, each day reminding us of every nautical mile - every privilege - of the marital voyage.
Thirty-six years ago, did we fully realise the grandeur, the scope of our plans? Did we know we’d learn to be fluent (sometimes more, sometimes less) in "life"…that our make-ups would be both compatible and prepared for whatever the journey dished up? Somewhere, in our rib timbers, we must have sensed some mutual commitment and confidence - that as Captain and Mate we’d somehow weather it all.
Barnacle-covered our keel may be, but the hull is sound...the masts straight...the sails full...our maps teasingly spread before us. On to our next destination...