Today’s weather is very much like the weather we had on this date last year, if maybe a touch colder. The sunshine is abundant and vibrating with energy. The wind is low, skies clear.
Today, Jessica and Alex celebrate their first wedding anniversary and, just as before, Love is winning.
After their first full year, a young couple could measure their marriage in bills paid and paychecks hard earned, in emergencies resolved, in how many friends they welcomed into their home to help them get back on their feet, in how many extended family crises they endured. They might look back over twelve months and remember strong grief for lost loved ones and fresh grief for hurting loved ones.
A young couple can cry a lot of tears in their first year, under the very best circumstances. In a global pandemic, with ancient, unrelenting storms still circling them, it can be an awful lot.
I think those and many more hardships are actually opportunities for growth and can be beautiful ways to measure your first year. But I vote for measuring and counting the outright joys, too.
A milestone year can be measured by how many road trips you’ve taken, how many spontaneous date nights your romance has sparked, how many fun parties you’ve thrown for your people! How many home cooked meals and nest feathering projects you’ve enjoyed, even the dozens of times you’ve lovingly taken your perfect pups to the park and to the groomer and (when necessary) to the vet. How many times did you buy delicious groceries together or rearrange the furniture, listen to music and sing and watch documentaries and discuss the world and politics? How many college classes and appointments and important meetings did you check off your list?
All the cozy bonfires you burned in your backyard firepit, they all count. All the many new traditions you cultivated, all on your own, for no one but yourselves, they definitely beef up the first year. Every time you lovingly participated in family events even when you weren’t quite up for it? Extra credit, babes. In a year, there are so many amors uttered, and plenty of movie nights and star gazing nights. They are all riches for your hearts.
Alone, these life details may feel small, but together they are good, solid building blocks for a happy, textured life. Three hundred and sixty five days worth of life well lived, of love exchanged and grown and realized.
A year is a nice long time to learn each other’s rhythms and habits, preferences and strengths, to begin to really galvanize and harmonize the cultures you have united. And these precious young people are just getting started.
Alex and Jessica, as you step across the calendar into January 17, 2022, into your second year as husband and wife, we wish you more time for each other, more opportunities to travel and more parties and fun. We wish you success at school and in business, fulfillment in every creative endeavor.
We also wish you all the strength and wisdom you will need for the inevitable challenges that are coming. You already know that the obstacle is the way; may you also begin to see that your dreams and visions are powerful forces. Craft your life, your marriage, own it, make it yours.
Wear the fur, eat the cake. Laugh as much as possible.
We love you so much.
Happy First Anniversary.
“Every love story is beautiful,
but ours is my favorite.”