Twenty-five years ago (8/8/92), I stood on the Brooklyn Promenade and said “I do” to Wayne.
Intrigued by the SITS Girls prompt, “If you were to describe yourself as a tree, what kind of tree would you be?,” some arborial thoughts on our 25-year old marriage.
We aren’t a “flashy” tree like the Hawaiian Rainbow Shower (Cassia) tree, known for its eye-catching blooms, its frequent changes in appearance, or its notoriety.
Instead, I like to think we have these qualities in common with other trees:
The Great Basin Bristlecone Pines are the longest-living trees known to man. According to the National Wildlife Federation, they grow straight at low elevations, “but at high elevations, the trunks become twisted.”
Same after 25 years of marriage. Growth gets a little less straightforward as the years go by.
My daughter visited the Oklahoma City memorial earlier this summer and, comparing it to the 9/11 Memorial, said “it was so different in comparison, a place of looking forward.” We both place a high premium on being faithful to each other; it matters and I believe it will continue to make difference “looking forward.”.
Extending Open Arms
Even though I don’t consider us, as a couple, all that public or outgoing, we have made it a priority to deepen family ties. Ready for a tree pun? This involves, um, “branching out.” I love this beautiful live oak tree here in Tallahassee at Lichgate.
From trying to make every get-together, and Wayne’s incredible cooking for those get-togethers, to the last three years taking care of Dad, reaching out has been an important part of our marriage.
Deep roots are essential to a good marriage. I couldn’t find a great example of one type of tree that has the deepest roots in the world. Rather, I found this blog post explaining that strong root systems need water, oxygen, and space. In other words, it’s not necessarily the kind of tree you plant but how you treat it that makes a difference.
Determination also matters, as Nietzsche points out:
Smithsonian Magazine says this about the Baobab tree: “Its bark is fire resistant. Its fruit is edible. It scoffs at the driest droughts. It shrugs, and another decade has passed.” Sounds about right for 25 years of marriage!
It may not be the prettiest tree on the planet but it is still there, while others have come and gone.
Twenty-Five Years Later
My favorite marriage quote came from Ann Landers:
Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
Now we are caught up in celebrating the new marriages of relatives who were babies (or not born yet) in August of 1992, like my niece Olivia, who will be getting married in September (this is us at a recent party for her and her fiance, John Landon).
My wish for all these new marriages is longevity, faithfulness, fruitfulness, open arms, deep roots, and strength.
And for our marriage, 25 years in, a happy anniversary to us!