* yes, there should be FIVE sets of boots but Allen ignored my advice to get adequate rain gear...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ordinary Love

I've been listening to that U2 song, Ordinary Love, a lot lately because I'm trendy like that.  I've also been thinking rather a lot about Ordinary Time in the liturgical calendar.  And, then, we offered the alter flowers this week at church and that means you also write a little blurb that goes in the announcements telling what the flowers are in remembrance of or celebration for or whatever and, so, with all that stewing about in my head and sandwiched in between the Target and grocery runs, I contributed this:

In celebration of the many miracles of summer; blinking fireflies, crashing thunderstorms, gentle night breezes, blooming flowers and 14 years of ordinary love.

This apparently left some of the congregation rather nonplussed.

We were married on June 17.  It was almost too hot.  We were not quite too young.  We really didn't have everything figured out.  It was rather a lot scary and I only knew how to make 4 main dishes but we did it anyway.

From this year, at the beach, our wedding was before the digital age

When I wrote that little blip for the announcements, I was thinking about how extraordinarily important ordinary love is in a marriage and how it's strongly implied in the vows and, for that matter, in the liturgical calendar, but not so much spelled out.  For sickness and in health, for richer or poorer... those can come off as so dramatic but it's really just all about for better or for worse.  It's not the pits of despair juxtaposed against becoming independently wealthy.  It's colds and migraines verses quite well rested.  A good deal of a fairly stable marriage is partly cloudy versus mostly sunny.  There are peaks and valleys but too many of them make the stuff of soap operas, not a relationship you can actually grow within.

That cup of coffee Allen makes me every morning is the height of mundanity.  Folding Allen's socks and underwear is the stuff of endless purgatory.  Being sure the bills are paid and the trash is taken to the curb on the right night, every week... yawn... Huge Yawn.  But, think of what a marriage is without that.  Without the passing glance, absent the habitual smile, missing the bits and pieces that are an ordinary life filled with ordinary love, it's not simply a slightly less full life, it's is an extraordinarily lonely one- even within a marriage.

There are moments for crash, bang, boom.  There is a time for extraordinary, miraculous, courageous love but there is also an ordinary time.  I adore those moments when I said "Yes," and "I do," and "We're going to have a baby," but I also adore the many very small moments of ordinary; of coffees and hand clasps and all those times when it's just that he showed up.

And, so, last year I wrote about my husband's heroic efforts and this year about his ordinary ones and I really can't tell you which make our marriage the richer.

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