I was married 34 years ago today. My wife and I were both 25 years old. We believed we had unending time and joy in front of us. It turned out we had neither. Time is finite; joy real but impermanent, oftentimes quickly morphing into its opposite. My father used to say that “life was a series of joys and sorrows.” I have found this to be true.
We began naive in the ways of love. At our wedding we dance to a popular song which captured the feelings of both young and mature love with its beautiful melody and romantics lyrics:
Through the years as the fire starts to mellow
Burning lines in the book of our lives
Though the binding cracks and the pages start to yellow
I’ll be in love with you, I’ll be in love with you
Music adds much to lyrics, but words sometimes say more. Here are the words penned by Will Durant, when thinking about Ariel, his wife of almost 70 years.
Do not be so ungrateful about love … to the attachment of friends and mates who have gone hand in hand through much hell, some purgatory, and a little heaven, and have been soldered into unity by being burned together in the flame of life. I know such mates or comrades quarrel regularly, and get upon each other’s nerves; but there is ample recompense for that in the unconscious consciousness that someone is interested in you, depends upon you, exaggerates you, and is waiting to meet you at the station.[i]
Yet there is something beyond both words and music … action. Loving is doing things you sometimes don’t want to do, because that’s what your beloved wants. I hope I can do that, because I know my wife can. Thank you Jane for all these wonderful years.
Oh, and here’s a silly song one for you:
[i] Durant, On the meaning of life, 125-26.