Thirty Years sounds like it might fall neatly into categories or decades; it doesn’t. Rather our story bobs and dips with the rise and fall of idealism, then hardship and its residual great and terrible loss, and finally resolve, before starting the arc all over again, and yes, with romantic overtures threaded throughout.
As with any marriage, we find markers identified by homes, children chapters, college years and careers, (and for me, books written)—some memories are worthy of telling, and a good many we hope to forget. Yet, as is true of all adventures, ours is the rise and fall, the push and pull that creates the tension of plot; this is ours. Thirty years… or forever.
Spoiler Alert – You’ll find no tidy three-act structure here. Rather, like star-gazed lovers investing in a hillside vineyard, we step out each morning to see what the day offers. In reflection, we find the years fall more into a pattern of 1) planting and growing, 2) making mistakes and Do Overs, 3) pruning/harvesting/crushing, 4) mixing/fermenting wine… with hopes of one day distilling and sipping; each a decade or more in the making.
DECADE I – Maiden Love – growing/planting: identity/vocation together and apart. “California dreamin’” epitomizes our sunny days of long-distance courting and eloping, then making our way to the land of perpetual summer where we found adventure, made babies, and the dean’s list.
DECADE II – Making Love – Making Mistakes – do overs: as our relationship rounds a corner, about taking hold of ideals of what we wanted to believe in. What matters to us? We were accruing, building, floundering, and we were believing and fighting. The fight was a necessary part. Who am I? Who are you? Who are we? What are we here to do and be? How do we steward our time, our children, our belongings, our love?
DECADE III – Mending Love – pruning/harvesting/crushing/: proves to be a season of relinquishing, letting ideals die, the testing of beliefs… a season of winter… so that spring might come again.
Afterward (Five years into Decade IV) – Mindful Love – mixing/ fermenting