(3) Z e r o

Thirty, to be precise. As in the number of years I have been afforded the privilege of being married. Thirty years ago on this date, on a typical Winter’s day in Canada I pledged my troth to my wife. I was oblivious to the actual outside temperature, primarily because I was focused on trying not to pinch myself awake over my good fortune.

In retrospect, the day was a blur; albeit a good one. As those facets of recollection now course through my mind, I marvel at the blessings that were bestowed on me over the intervening decades. Primarily my wife of course, and my three older children, who are now adults themselves; and my youngest, who preceded us into eternity far before his allotted time. Yes, there is poignancy in some of the memories, but any memory worth celebrating will always come with varying degrees of emotional intensity.

The past thirty years have gifted my wife and I, not only with the sometimes troubling filter of the linearity of time, but with the wondrous timeline of lineage. We have now been graced with Grandchildren. That reality has expanded our understanding of where and how we fit in the divine order of things. Nothing wild or crazy, just a deeper appreciation and recognition of the innate value in ourselves and in each other. The progression of time is usually marked by experiential snapshots. Some pleasant, others less so. But they all coalesce into one form or another which adds value (and I daresay) allure, to who we are continually becoming.

Looking back over 30 years of marriage, and the hard-won wisdom acquired thus far, I find myself in a state of subdued awe. Not so much because of the intervening longevity of time (although quite humbling), but because of changes noted in my character and personality, along with my outlook on life in general. Not all of those changes would necessarily qualify as “good” or even beneficial. After all I am human, and still prone to mistakes; yes, some more stupid than others. However, in spite of the occasional idiocy I bring to the table, I have learned more about accepting myself, flaws and all, by unconditionally accepting and partnering with another imperfect person on a similar journey as my oiwn. Maybe that is inherently the essence of what a marriage is all about. Learning unconditional love and respect through commitment and forgiveness, both for yourself and your spouse.

It’s now Dec 9th 2019. The outside temperature is 32°C. I have temporarily fled the wintery grasp of my beloved country, and escaped for a short span of time in sunny Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The contrasts however, are not lost on me. Thirty years ago two people publicly committed themselves to each other, with the warmth of their love keeping at bay the cold December winds blowing outside. Now today, we are basking outside in Tropical heat, being rejuvenated and refreshed from the cold harsh realities that life at times have thrown our way. Taking this time to rest, will allow for emotional renewal; the restablishment of our commitment to each other, and the re-energizing of hope for the future. Intentionally for another 30 years and beyond.