This day it is warmer, even warm. I awaken into the morning, light already, the wind light and the sky bright. No flat grey this morning and no cold wind and I am thankful. It has felt for a while now that this island stuck out into the great Atlantic has been the fulcrum for conflict, as if Summer and what we expect clashes with Autumn and what we don’t expect, and in June. Even the sea is a restless woman, plucking at her coverlets when opposing currents and wind patterns argue loudly with the tide cycles. Tide over wind, wind over tide, it’s exhausting and I am mighty glad not to be out there on a boat.
Today would have been our 50th wedding anniversary. I am not at all sentimental but I cannot say I haven’t given it a thought. Quite the opposite. In fact, I choose to think and a lot as I look back down the years of anniversaries and of 365 days in between each of them. So many and over such a long time, a time of growing children, of laughing and crying, of loving and hating, of warm easy peace and big storms, of wind over tide and tide over wind and repeat. Not many marriages make such an arrival into the harbour but we would have done, had he lived. In a traditional type marriage there is, or was, a lot of old fashioned claptrap, a lot of He is the Man of the House and She is the Little Woman who cooks and cleans and I can tell you I yelled and rebelled a great deal, but somehow we stayed where we were and where we were was together. This sunshine day I remember him as he was way back when romance was still alive and the pressures of adjusting to change flicked the feet out from under us. I sometimes wonder, now that I have time to engage with the wondering thingy, why it was so hard for him as an older man to accept change between us. I remember him questioning once, Why on earth would I want to do that? when I suggested that we both might consider this change. After all, wasn’t I fleet of foot and fancy free until my first son was born? I knew I had changed, of course I had. However this man who could accept all the vagaries of a capricious ocean found it very hard to accept any such in me, even as I knew I was 90% ocean.
But here I am alone now and remembering. I remember the times he surprised me with dinner plans, with roses and thoughtfulness. Romance was never dead in him. He just found me impossible and I know I was. The last anniversary card he gave me on this day in 2020, the year he died, he wrote in a very wobbly scribble ‘You know I have always loved you.’ I recall a mental snort, one I am not proud of, one I didn’t show. Instead I bent to kiss him on his withered cheek and smiled. We did ok, I said.
Happy Golden my husband.