Running through unknown jungles every day

As I begin to write this entry it is still – just – September 3rd, and my twelfth wedding anniversary. The weather today was very different to the blazing skies of twelve years ago. I remember the grass was still heavy with dew beneath the trees where most of the photographs were taken, after the civil ceremony. (We were married at Westonbirt Arboretum, and it was lovely.) Twelve years later, twelve years wiser? Possibly. Marriage is fun, marriage is safe, marriage is hard work. Marriage is as much about remaining yourself as it is about being part of something greater than your self. Marriage is trust, and silence. Marriage is having a bloody good laugh at things that anyone who is not one of you would never understand. Each marriage is its own culture. Some people are better for leaving their marriage, if it’s not working, if it’s hurting them. I have been very lucky, and I continue to feel really rather happy, all things considered. We have a good life, in spite of the inevitable niggles and stupidities that Life chucks out to trip us all up (see this entry’s title – it’s a line from an Abba song).

We’re not one of those couples who feel the need to mark every anniversary with a big fuss and to-do. Our wedding was small, and I feel, all the more special for it. Of course, for the landmark occasions, special attention is paid (diamond earrings for our tenth anniversary, a trip to Paris for my soon to be fortieth birthday). But today was quiet and simple. My husband had to be at work today, over-seeing public order during the Stroud Fringe Festival; my daughter and I had a quiet day at home, doing not very much in our usual cheerful way. This evening we had Chinese takeout and a bottle of red, the small cherishings by shared pleasures. Oh yes, and of course there were flowers, lots and lots of flowers. The day before, he brought home for me a packet of orange custard creams, something I’ve been sort of yearning for these last six months or so (it’s a childhood nostalgia thing; I thought no one made them anymore); my husband knows how to make me happy. I think I know how to do likewise for him. I certainly hope so!

September has always been a month of beginnings, new beginnings, and beginning again; going to back to school (my daughter went back on the 1st), starting a new course… is it a happy coincidence that we chose to start our married life in this month? It’s the month of metaphorical clean slates, new pencils, and crisp apples. A new season, of mists and mellow fruitfulness… the mists will come soon enough, and the hedgerows are bursting with berries. I will probably have another go at making sloe gin this year; this time however I will show great forbearance and wait until after the first frost to gather the fruits. Forbearance, patience, I seem to be getting better at acquiring such traits; I still have a bottle of last year’s effort lurking in the cupboard. It won’t last much longer…

And now it’s September 4th. Tadaa!

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