our country of marriage

    Yesterday marked the twentieth anniversary of Ginger’s and my engagement. We celebrated with a quick trip to Boston (my first since we moved), including a Sox game and a meal at the Hard Rock, which is where we ate on August 12, 1989 (except at the one in Dallas, which is no more). For our anniversary, Ginger gave me a “Story People” drawing that says,

    “You’re the strangest person I ever met,” she said
    and I said, “You, too,” and we decided to know each other a long time.

    And we are having a great time together.

    We are more together than we know,
    how else could we keep discovering
    we are more together than we thought?

    Wendell Berry, “The Country of Marriage”

    Our Country of Marriage

    We walked the streets of Boston again –
    the streets where we grew together,
    grew up together, and found our
    footprints still etched in the sidewalks,
    even though we have moved away.

    Here’s how I remember it:
    We were new to the city and still
    fairly new to one another.
    I was standing on the inbound platform
    at North Station, when it was still
    an elevated track. When the train I
    wasn’t waiting for pulled away, I saw
    you standing on the outbound side,
    my most familiar and favorite face
    shining among the shadowed crowd.
    You saw me at the same time and
    you smiled the surprise that left
    my heart both bright and breathless.

    We have good reasons we no longer
    live where we can walk across the
    Common, or smell the sea salt
    though summer’s open windows.
    Still, the geography of the heart
    holds our history in the mountains
    of memories, the countless coffee
    shops from Newbury to Ninth,
    the string of sunsets and stories
    that run like the Appalachian Trail
    across our country of marriage
    to where the light shines in different
    windows and Schnauzers still woof
    their welcome when we come home.

    I’m proud to be a citizen of
    our country of love and laughter,
    this land we have discovered together
    and, even now far from its frontier,
    this land still full of the discovery
    of what it means to love for a lifetime.



    1. Congratulations. Yours is the second marriage I’ve congratulated this week as I emerge from the rubble that was my own. I so admire the two of you for your successful and happy hard work. Blessings.

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