I just woke up from a little mid-afternoon nap – I fell asleep on a chaise, in the sun, on a deck overlooking Haystack Rock on the Oregon coast. There aren’t many coastal days more beautiful than this, but there was one that I remember vividly thirty-three years ago – the day my husband and I were married just a few miles north of here. When I woke up from my nap, I stretched, reveling in the heat from the sun, then sat up to look around at the beauty surrounding me and there, just below my deck, I saw a small group of people gathered around a man in a black tuxedo and a woman in a white dress. A wedding in progress, a marriage just beginning and all I could think to wish for them is that their honeymoon lasts as long as ours.
I’ve read the articles that state that couples have to learn to accept their lives after the honeymoon ends. I’ve seen the movies and TV shows depicting couples going through the rote of living their days. Blah, blah, blah! Sure, there are stages of a marriage, many of them, but you don’t get to thirty-three years feeling happy, passionate and in love without bringing with you some of the honeymoon feelings. You remember the honeymoon – the kindnesses, the love, the quiet talks together, etc., etc., etc. Those feelings, those niceties, those intimacies that we experience on our honeymoon are, I believe, what carries us happily through the years ahead…if we hold on to them.
Our wedding photographer told us that we should pick out photos from our wedding collection to put on the wall of our bedroom. His theory was that whenever we might have an argument or fight we would enter our bedroom and there we would be, the portrait of us on our wedding day and we would be reminded of how we felt on that day. There have only been a couple of times that I’ve actually had to take his advice and look at those pictures in the heat of anger, but when I did I was humbled to find myself remembering the bigger story, seeing the bigger picture. In fact, whenever I look at those pictures, whether it’s in an angry moment or just when I wake up in the morning, I am reminded of how I felt on that day and how, while it was truly wonderful then, it doesn’t even compare to how I feel now.