Tuesday, June 29, 2010
We take this bundle out every so often, at the very least on our anniversary, and see if we can remember what all the things symbolize. It's funny because we never thought it would be as difficult as it sometimes is, given how our interests and qualities do tend to merge and overlap. (Was the pencil you and the crayons me, or was it the other way around?) Sometimes we think about things we might put in today, whether they might be different now that we are older and busier and if not wiser then at least more experienced. And we always take a minute to dab on a bit of D's special cologne that he put in.
So one of the items that I put in was this little jar of water from the Clackamas River, where we were married. It was meant to symbolize our relationship, and I remember writing up a whole list of metaphorical reasons--our love of nature and traveling, the way it seeks balance and figures out the path of least resistance no matter the terrain, even the cohesion of the very water molecules was a comment on how D. and I would surely stick together. But the biggest reason that I chose water as a symbol of our relationship was that, like a marriage, keeping a jar of water for any length of time was going to take a little attention--a little work. It's not like you can just get married and then you're good. The water disappears if you don't replenish it from time to time.
Well, if you look at the photo of our little jar, you can see there's hardly any left. Did we forget about it, tucked away in the bundle? Did we stop caring about replenishing the jar? Well. Not...exactly. I admit, we could have done a much better job of refilling our little jar, but I also have to admit that a big part of that (for me, anyway) was a sort of sentimentality about the actual water. Aw, look! It's our little bit of Oregon! Remember how beautiful that day was? Remember the rain, the way the beeswax candles held up? Remember how we scattered the leaves and the wine in the river, and how my maid of honor almost fell in retrieving the lost shoe of our minister? It's not that we were neglecting our jar, but rather that we were holding onto the memories...maybe to the past?
Marriages change. We have a very different life today than the one we went home to after our ceremony in the Mount Hood National Forest. It's better and worse; it's richer and...well, no, it's richer--in so many ways.
Anyway, we finally did it. We went out and replenished our wedding jar, adding the cold, fresh water of Lake Superior to the lingering drops of Clackamas. We got our feet wet (and most of our legs, to be honest) in the process, and we had a good laugh and a few shivers (it was freezing!) and then we came home and tucked our full jar back in the bundle and talked about how much things have changed and how much we've stayed the same. And we whispered our hopes for what our marriage may look like the next time we fill the jar.