Hiking along a trail this morning, I force my own plans: when to stop to pick blackberries, when to leave the trail and see what’s down the canyon, when to turn back. I have my own things to do.
My Eagle Scout husband (who surely knows more) is patient with me when I’m bossy. He calls out to me and says, “Come look at this!”
Later, I want to go home, and he says, “We’ll just walk a little further down this trail.”
All of a sudden, the forest opens to this gorgeous lake–so peaceful, so tucked away in a deeply shaded forest. Nobody’s here but us, the geese, and the frogs that let out a yelp as they dive like synchronized swimmers off the lily pads.
It’s so beautiful. I sit and rest. It was my husband who brought me here to the still water’s edge. It was my husband who said, “look at this,” and stopped me in my frantic race towards…what? We celebrate 10 years of marriage this week. This anniversary hike without the children reminded me of what’s so precious about marriage: You have a companion that walks the trail with you and knows how to guide your attention to what you can’t yet see.
Later, we talked about marriage as oneness. You have to fight the urge to be separate, to do your own thing, to race ahead. Being–and staying–in love means I cultivate the oneness. Cultivating oneness has something to do with pulling the other aside and saying, “Look at this!” And if one of us has to rest by the water alone, the other one will at least capture it on film for later.