Today is Havarti’s and my 13th wedding anniversary. Yay us!
It’s funny to look back to where we were then and to remember what it was like to be in young love. Havarti and I were 24 and 23 when we got married. Babies, in my now-36-year-old mind. I was living in Japan, teaching English and lamely attempting to sort out my spiritual life, and he was in Yakima, taking over his parents’ business and resigning himself to bachelorhood. Neither of us was looking to get married.
But not long before I went home for my brother’s wedding, just after some rather heavy-duty (i.e., desperate) praying, I had a vision of sorts. Not so much a vision, but a feeling that something was soon going to change. I felt ready for the next step in my life, whatever that was going to be. I even wrote about it in my somewhat neglected journal. It was very strong. Tangible, almost. I’ve never had such a clear foreshadowing in my whole life.
So I guess it wasn’t all that much of a surprise when, over the weekend of my brother’s wedding, Havarti and I connected. I sort of kept laughing to myself, to fate, to God, to whoever was in on this cosmic turn of events. And I knew. I knew we were going to get married. I knew it right then and there. And I told myself in that moment to always remember that feeling, because I’d seen enough of the world and marriage to know that years and challenges and hardships and daily doldrums can make people forget why they are together. I knew that we were together because we were supposed to be together. End of story. We didn’t even really know each other that well. I mean, we did in some very important aspects – we’d been together at Baha’i stuff since we were kids, so we knew each other’s families, where we came from, how we were raised, etc. We shared our faith. And we shared some similar tastes in music. That was pretty much all we knew of our compatibility in a practical sense. And Lord knows once that honeymoon romance wears off, there’s got to be something substantial to hold you together.
We often remark how blessed and lucky we feel that we get along so well. Our temperaments are a great fit. We have the same sense of humor, like the same movies, and enjoy doing things together. We work well together. We really didn’t know all of that before we got married. But I knew it was right. I just knew. It couldn’t have been more clear to me if God Himself had come into my kitchen and smacked me over the head with a frying pan.
Love is a funny business. It’s so hard to pin down and define in its early stages. And there are so many shades of love, it can be tricky to differentiate between an overwhelming attraction to someone and something real that you build a life on. And then it changes and morphs into different manifestations of itself over time, so that sometimes it’s almost unrecognizable from its beginnings. I feel very fortunate that I had such a clear vision at 23, and that I’m still able to recall that feeling of knowing thirteen years later.
Not that I’ve needed to recall it much. We’ve had a ridiculously happy run so far, and I’m genuinely looking forward to whatever else is in store for us. 🙂