June 21. Our wedding anniversary. One ordinary, hot summer day in mid June. Time for our annual tradition, our attempt to infuse an ordinary day with meaning, a day to honor each other and the relationship that we have been crafting for 32 plus years...(Kind of funny now to think about our wedding day and how much we "knew" about each other, life, relationships. We were so sure about so many things...)
And so we head to the river. (Or as people around here would say, the River.) We have water bottles, sunscreen, binoculars, camera, and the usual canoe gear - paddles, seat pads (ahhh), life jackets, and each other. It is enough. It might be significant to mention what we don't have along - we are not portaging boys of any size, and one cell phone is stashed in the truck for the day while the other is stowed nicely in the waterproof bucket along with keys and wallet. And it is silenced. Our journey begins. Or, more accurately, continues.
I ponder what marriages would be like if we would move toward this approach every day - not an agenda, but hopes
- to see eagles, (eagles are angels, says our friend Dan. I'm in! And I'm watching...)
-to bask like turtles in the present reality of God's love (separate blog post brewing here)
-to experience (or offer?) peace.
We spend the day...we fritter it away... we expend the hours...we lavishly "waste" minutes...hours...half of an ordinary day.
We watch wildlife...
We practice being where our feet are...
we bird watch...
What was our favorite, best of the best, "find of the day"? So glad you asked. Ever, always, the eagle(s). Again and again, one of us announces in a whisper, "eagle." And it is breath taking every time. Indulge me a few photos...
Occasionally a startled eagle flies downriver ahead of us, and we strain our eyes to catch another glimpse, knowing we might be seeing the same bird again. But that streaked fellow, patchy and immature, is his own bird, completely different than the tired and tattered bird that lets us float directly beneath his perch.
we talk...or not. For hours.
Soon enough, oh, too soon, we will be back in the rapids of our ordinary lives. There will be plans to make, and needs to meet. The pace will pick up, rocks may threaten, a storm will undoubtedly blow in. But for now, we breathe deeply, we pause, we smile. We wrap ourselves in the peace of these moments that almost didn't happen.
We must make time for what really matters to us.
Determinedly. Regularly. Purposefully.
On ordinary days. Together.