Today I’m married twenty years to my best friend, and I’m trying, as ever, to wrap my head around it, the relationship, what this quantity of time means, how to express my love in the best way, and it’s difficult. With anything this big and important in your life, finding the words is challenging.
I think it’s like the ocean.
You sit on the beach and stare out, water as far as you can see, waves stacking up to the horizon. You think about what’s going on beneath the surface. You contemplate how the water in front of you is connected to all the other water, how even when you leave the coast, the rain that falls on your head is just that same water, taken up and following you wherever you go, the original source of all life on Earth.
Or you wade out into it and feel it’s coolness on your legs, your toes on the sandy bottom. Or further, until you’re floating, and you feel infinitesimally small, pushed around like a nothing in the swell and the tide. It’s a scary and comforting feeling, like the whole world is pulsing and moving and living and just carrying you along.
In any one moment, I don’t know how to tell her these things. How immense she is in every day of my life, how important to everything I do. It’s a lot for one person to accept. I don’t want to scare her, ya know? Even now, I’m still not sure she knows what she signed up for.
You can lay beside the ocean and close your eyes and find perfect peace, the sound of it in your ears. Or it can wake you out of whatever stumbling rut you’re in, with a storm that rearranges things on a topographic level.
The ocean is an everchanging, immutable thing. You can wish the water was warmer or calmer or that there were better waves or that it might not encroach on your comfortable place to sit, but that’s just wishing away what makes it so vastly beautiful and beyond your control.
The older I get the better I think I am at just appreciating what’s in front of me, or even only sat beside me on the couch. I may never understand fully what it is or how it works, but that’s alright.
She’s my best friend, and after two decades married, and nearly three together, I wake up in the morning still eager to see her and to find out what our day might be like together.