Yesterday, I officiated a wedding. Earlier in the day, Eric went to the grocery store. He wanted to buy me a corsage, some flowers to wear, but as it was a grocery store, there wasn’t anything like that, so he bought me a bouquet for my desk instead.
One of the things I said during the ceremony was marriage isn’t a commitment you make just once. Rather marriage allows you the opportunity to choose that person again and again. This can happen in moments of joy, such as on your wedding day, looking at your partner and feeling overwhelmed by love, knowing this is your person and you are hers, and choosing to commit publicly and legally to your partnership. This choice also happens in some of the darkest moments, when things are hard. Over the course of a long marriage, there are many opportunities to choose. You commit yourself to this person over and over again.
In this month’s issue of Sun Magazine they shared a beautiful poem, A Marriage by Michael Blumenthal, that feels especially true to me.
You are holding up a ceiling
with both arms. It is very heavy,
but you must hold it up, or else
it will fall down on you. Your arms
are tired, terribly tired,
and, as the day goes on, it feels
as if either your arms or the ceiling
will soon collapse.
something wonderful happens:
a man or a woman,
walks into the room
and holds their arms up
to the ceiling beside you.
So you finally get
to take down your arms.
You feel the relief of respite,
the blood flowing back
to your fingers and arms.
And when your partner’s arms tire,
you hold up your own
to relieve him again.
And it can go on like this
for many years
without the house falling.