By Marguerite Jill Dye
“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.”
— Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher
Our only child, our son who’s a chef, and his true love are taking the plunge! They’re committing their love and trust in each other through their wedding vows on a Massachusetts mountain top.
We’re excited and happy for them as they embark on married life. It takes great courage to make this commitment at a time when so many choose not to marry. It makes me ponder the sanctity of marriage and what it means in this day and age.
There’s great significance in making the promise, surrounded by family and friends who share and support the happy couple’s future life together. It gives me joy and a feeling of hope because our son and his beautiful bride are so certain of their love, in spite of the uncertain world we live in. There’s something enduring and magical about the sacredness of marriage.
In feng shui, when a prayer’s put in place by lighting a candle or ringing a bell or a prayer is written on a prayer flag that flutters in the wind, the belief is that it’s sent up to heaven, like prayers people send to manifest their wish.
Ever since the beginning of time, love has been as natural as life. The pair often raised a family, families united into tribes, tribes grew into communities, and communities joined to form city states. This is how civilization began. Joining together improved survival by sharing skills and strengths. Hunters and food gatherers were safer and more successful in groups than alone.
Anyone who’s ever been in a marriage or relationship knows that feeling of frustration, of not getting through to their mate but then, remembering why—they’re from Venus or Mars. It certainly is true that couples complement each other because sometimes they’re the perfect opposites. While this often works for the best, sometimes it’s simply exasperating.
“Divorce, never! Murder, maybe,” Mom always said about marriage. She had a knack for finding what’s funny in life, love, marriage, and aging. Mom and Dad’s marriage lasted 62 years! I applaud the example that they set for our family.
I can say from personal experience after 37 years of being married to Duane, that it isn’t always easy or fun, but I wouldn’t trade my husband for anyone. I love being his partner. We work as a team, dreaming how we want to live our lives. Together we work to surmount each hurdle which helps us navigate bigger challenges. Since we’re human, we have ups and downs, just like any other couple does. What I’d say is most important to us is that we share our values and ideals. For the two of us, some are not negotiable.
This is a time in our nation and world when so many things we’ve cherished and believed are no longer valued or upheld. Mother Earth deserves reverence and care like that which the indigenous peoples have always shown to her. But our actions have greatly damaged her. Caring for one another and defending the rights of humans saves and sustains lives. Once upon a time, our nation was known for upholding human rights. Our Constitution and democracy were revered and defended by our leaders, once upon a time. These priceless treasures were sacrosanct and fought for to the death. With the foundation of our democracy now unsteady and out of balance, we need hope and confidence. Unlike Baby Boomers, whose divorce rate remains high, Millennials who marry (a little bit older and more settled) have a better likelihood of staying married. This is a hopeful sign. A young couple in love that chooses to wed believes in the future. Their belief is contagious.
Marguerite Jill Dye is an artist and writer who divides her time between the Green Mountains of Vermont and Florida’s Gulf Coast.