Today is our ninth anniversary. Grant’s birthday was over the weekend, so we counted up how many of his birthdays we’ve spent together. We think it has been sixteen or maybe seventeen (long story), which means that starting next year, we’ll have been together longer than we’ve been apart, which is a really surreal to think about. Those young kids there (on our first date – at the Christmas dance) feel so far from who we are today, but still so much of the same too. It feels like big changes are coming – maybe it’s just the autumn air, but I’m excited about what year number nine has in store for the four of us.
If we had a wedding do-over, I would want this read at the ceremony:
Lovers must not, like usurers, live for themselves alone. They must finally turn their gaze at one another back toward the community. If they had only themselves to considers, lovers would not need to marry, but they must think of others and of other things. They say their vows to the community as much as to one another, and the community gathers around them to hear and to wish them well, on their behalf and on its own. It gathers around them because it understands how necessary, how joyful, and how fearful this joining is. These lovers, pledging themselves to one another “until death,” are giving themselves away, and they are joined by this as no law or contract could ever join them. Lovers, then, “die” into their union with one another as a soul “dies” into its union with God. And so, here, at the very heart of community life, we find not something to sell as in the public market but this momentous giving. If the community cannot protect this giving, it can protect nothing—and our time is proving that this is so.
Wendell Berry, from Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community: Eight Essays