60 Years of Marriage

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

East Front of Reeves Drive where crowds congregate from time to time so long as they stay out of Aunt Brenda’s vegetable garden.

My detour to Germany makes this post longer than I planned. One week after the college-associated events, we drove to Mount Airy from our home on the perimeter of Duke University. This two hour drive does not rival that along the Romantische Strasse and it does take one nearly out of time and certainly out of place. My in-laws celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary amongst their six children and the cascading families of theirs. We fit into the living room and kitchen, spilled onto the deck and the teenagers occupied the not so secret space with the Nintendo 64 in the basement. Several of us watched a fledgling dove learn to fly. Despite the example and encouragement of its own parents, the baby bird contented itself hoping about a flower bed, seeking shelter in the plant leaves and overgrowth. A few of us speculated that the bird was injured and could not fly. Others feared that roaming cats would discover the ground-bound baby. At last, and in Nature’s well worn way of inducing survival skills, one of the visiting Labradors saw the bird in the flower bed. As the dog headed for the bird, one of the younger girls shouted for the dog to heel or stop or watch-out. Amidst this adult energy, commotion and circumstance, the baby dove launched itself in flight onto the garage roof thirty feet away for a better view of the situation and landed safely just as its ground school training had prescribed.

Maybe that’s the connection I’ve been looking for over the past 750 words. It’s not what you think that you are going to do when it matters, or even where you do it or for how long, but more a matter of what you do when you need to do it that permits us to fulfill ourselves.