December 31, 1991
STM and I went out to dinner on Friday to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. Such is fitting for two middle-agers, we were home by 7:00, in bed by 9:00. That is not to say that we didn't have a wonderful time. We hoisted our wine glasses, looked into each other's tired eyes and STM said, "We've hung in, hung in, and hung in, and we still love each other."
It's fair to say we love each other more than we did when we got married, certainly more than when we thought we were first in love. And it hasn't all been "hanging in," there have been a lot of laughs along the way. Nobody can make me belly laugh like that one.
I can't, and won't even try to write the book on love. Married love, above all, is so complicated. (Parental love is simple.) There is no magic formula, it must work for the two parties involved and that is all - what is good for the goose, may not be good for the gander. There are double standards, silent agreements, spoken arrangements, and times when going to the mat is the only choice left. There are times when saying nothing is a sin, and when it's the greatest kindness you can offer the other. There are situations when retreating is the thing to do, and when being a dog with a bone is the saving factor. There is no road map and no key to the kingdom. It's trial and error, it's gut-it-out, it's savor the good and overlook the bad, it's for better for worse, it's forgive and forget, it's a spiritual covenant, it's a karmic relationship, it's a sacred contract.
I don't think all sacred contracts are meant to last a lifetime - some relationships, marriages, friendships, do what they were supposed to do - take us to where they were supposed to take us, teach us what they were supposed to teach us, then they expire. I do believe that my contract with STM is multi-lifetime, and that we came together in this lifetime, for very specific purposes (not the least of which was to have Woohoo and Rojo), and we have many more ahead.
At the end of January we will return to where this picture was taken - Kauai, 21-years later. We will celebrate my 50th birthday, and the people we are today, look back at the "kids" we were then, and look forward to what we will become. Together.