Wednesday, August 12, 2009

To the next 41

Nine years ago, at about this time, I was sending my bridesmaids out into the garden to pick little white flowers that I had decided at the last minute I HAD to have in my hair before I walked down the aisle. They all wilted before the recessional. It was sweltering in Occidental. And perfect. Everyone we loved was there, looking stunning and shiny and positively lit up. The sun sparkled through the Redwoods, the flowers bloomed, the pond was algae-free. Even when our Filipino dental hygienist DJ from Pinole accidentally put on Kenny G., the day was not marred. I was buzzing with happiness, literally vibrating with the energy that comes from so much love and goodwill.

Around the time of our wedding, the Mister's grandmother was mourning the death of her beloved husband of more than 50 years. When I asked her what the secret to a long and happy marriage was, she said, "Oh, it gets easier. In the beginning you have all those feelings."

I'm not sure about the easier part (for better or worse, we still have all those feelings). But I do know that along with all the many, many forms that a marriage takes, it is, above all, the greatest comfort of my life. And I don't think it's possible that I could have married a better person than the Mister.

Maybe Gandhi, but he's a little austere for me.

Happy anniversary, Mister.

Touch Me
Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that's late,
it is my song that's flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
and it's done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.
—Stanley Kunitz


Lydia said...

Happy Anniversary and thanks for sharing your special wedding photo. (That little note from the Clintons ain't too shabby, either!)

That quote by the grandmother? Priceless!

Simply Mel said...

As I read this, I kept hearing the song, "Love and Marriage" play over and over in my head!

Here's to 99 more happy years together!

Petunia Face said...

Congratulations! I do hope the Clintons got you the crystal candy dish :)

Lisa said...

Happy Anniversary, Samantha! I love reading your blog; I love the Kunitz poem; & I love that you got a note from the the heck did you swing that one?

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

So beautiful, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! cheers.

Up Mama's Wall said...

Thank you so much everyone. The Mister surprised me last night with a babysitter, a bike ride to a neighborhood cafe (Outerlands--YUM) and then home again for a viewing of Sixteen Candles. Sigh.
Oh, and the prez will send you wedding wishes if you invite him to your wedding. We just sent an invitation to the White House.

koralee said...

So lovely...Happy Anniversary to you both...thank you for your comment on my blog...your's is delightful. I adore your family so much fun!

krista said...

your husband's grandmother's advice cracked me up. for real.
and then that poem tore me in half. so beautiful.
congratulations :-)

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