Every anniversary my husband, C.B., and I have made a good practice of going away for an overnight stay. From Cape Cod you can only go north or west, unless you take a boat or plane. In fact last year we went south to Nantucket by boat, ended up stranded by high winds the next day and flew home in a noisy and very wobbly puddle – jumper, the pilot using something that looked just like a simple GPS. Making memories…
This year we headed north to Woodstock, New Hampshire and because we are both a little blond, we booked a stay in the same B&B we had stayed in five years ago that we vowed to never return to. We even booked the same room. We didn’t realize this until we pulled up.
I don’t like to spiritualize everything but I do know that often God will bring us back to “the same place” in the spirit realm and waits patiently for us to get some things right; issues of the heart, attitudes, responses that run cross-grain with His will, that fall far from Christ-likeness. And He says, “OK, let’s try it again.” Sometimes marriage can be like that too. I can only speak for myself. Attitudes, knee-jerk reactions… yes, sometimes I can be hard to please. I wondered how much I had played a part in the dark memory of that anniversary get- away some years ago. I looked at C.B. and said, “It’s going to be good this time.” And it was.
We left there this morning, stuffed with plum muffins, strong coffee and sweet memories and then hiked a good ways up a mountain, enough so we could get a view of God’s splendid creation. We prayed together on the mountain, breathing in the autumn air like it was more than life and laughed about how our knees hurt now climbing down. Time prods and pokes at your vanity. Marriage must sustain not only the storms of life, which we have weathered our fair share of, but also the gentle pressure of aging.
This year the leaves were a spectacular display of colors, something we had not expected, a joyful surprise. We remarked to the innkeepers that it was unusual to see foliage this late in October. “It’s been a very warm fall,” he said. Now you know I don’t like to spiritualize everything, but I couldn’t help think that maybe God did that just for us, to celebrate making good memories… and getting it right this time.