Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Fairy-Tale Lives

I am back from the wedding. I was going to say that it went off without a hitch, but, of course, there was one -- the one for which we all assembled! The day was beautiful, which is a darn good thing for an outdoor wedding, and the spot (at a rural inn) was commensurately splendid. The nuptials were repeated against the backdrop of an idyllic pond: what a fine convergence of two resplendent things.

Of course, a wedding, especially of one's own daughter, does call-up a certain amount of cogitation. One hopes that this will be one the "good" marriages. We all want a nice event and a joyous day to look back upon, but we really need to concentrate on looking-forward to a great life. Our culture seems to have misplaced its priorities in this regard ... and in many other regards, I suppose.

Why it that? Not to repeat my reception speech, but I think it's because we believe the fairy tales. Our own romance starts like a fairy tale. Just like the prince and princess, we fall in love, and we feel just like we imagine that they did in the stories. And, just like they, we plan and experience a storybook-perfect wedding ceremony, replete with fine food, drink and fellowship. And just as they, we have the expectation to live happily ever after.

There's the rub!

What did it take for the fabled prince and princess to live happily ever after? Maybe they lived under the divine right of royalty, and it was their birthright. But it isn't ours! The rest of us have to work hard to attain the good things of life, and that includes happiness in marriage.

This really is not terribly onerous work of which I speak. It's not really that hard to do, more like watering a plant than anything! We must simply attend to it, not neglect it, not presume that all is well for another day or longer. On a daily basis, we need to give our partner a little attention: a little water, a little nourishment, some tender and loving care. We need to smile, speak softly and gently, be considerate and supportive.

Not hard work really, but work nonetheless.

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