A mild sea breeze glides over our coast, while waves expire in their fatal quest of pointlessly mocking the sand. The brilliant sun bakes the shoreline as palms stand sentinel over ruby-coated bougainvillea wreaths intertwined beneath them. Nesting terns call out in a timeless song, proclaiming the symphony of life that has been set before us as we methodically wander our beach, periodically dipping our feet into the cool, azure waters that surround us. Is this paradise we explore together? No, that is reserved for another life and another place much better promised and wistfully anticipated; albeit the two of us appear to be in no hurry to get there and claim that waiting shore.
Endlessly we tread amongst ever-changing dunes, sometimes swatting at sand flies, sometimes growing tired of the diet we subsist upon. Sometimes we take for granted the beauty of the moment, and sometimes we long for things that may possibly be better than those we have. Yet always we wander together.
We are never alone, even when chance or circumstances happen to find us subtly removed from each other’s side.
How did we get here? What cosmic events superseded our existence here, on this, the island we share? Was it chance or merely blind luck that carved our small atoll out of the sea and placed us upon it? We both know the answer and it brings us hope, a hope that is beyond simply ‘necessary’ if we are to face our remaining tomorrows. It is many things, this island, but it is also our island, and we do our best to ‘own it’ by the way we live our lives together. It’s not always easy. Sometimes there are storms that lash out at us from the sea, and pirates have been known to prowl these waters. I think about this as I watch you cautiously avoid stepping on a crab that is bent on crossing our path. You smile at me and it is a smile I will never grow tired of. There are no storms today, no Jolly-Rogers lurking on the horizon.
Some say our island is boring, and while that may or may not be true of their own island, this one keeps us content. Others have advised us to spruce up our island by adding a condo or two - maybe plant a different flora to the gardens we painstakingly tend. But why change what we know to be perfect? Why should we alter the things that make us both happy?
The wind blows your hair and I watch your eyes. I follow your gaze beyond the ever encircling dunes, time in this instance, creeping toward us with little remorse for what it holds in store for the two of us. Yet we walk among them unafraid, those monolithic waves of time. They can’t be stopped, and as with all things once feared, the marching sands have been melded into an acceptable compromise by both of our hearts.
Your hand in mine, something expected and yet treasured still by my heart. Always. Eternal.
Twenty-two years is a long time on an island. We’ve explored most of her reaches together and conquered or laid claim to the better part of it. But oh, there are still places that remain uncovered, and paths that have yet to be trod. They are out there waiting for us, calling our names, offering us an opportunity to avoid the mundane and seek treasures that for now are still hidden there. Together we’ll find them. We will.
When the day comes (as surely it will) to signal an end to our time on this magnificent island called marriage, my biggest hope will be to abandon it together and vacate its seamless perfection via the same vessel. You see, this wonderful place with all of its beauty would be unlivable for me if you were not around to share it with. Besides, another destination surely awaits us.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”