Saturday, January 21, 2012

Marriage of Sea and Sky

Katie and I live near the water, an east-facing Atlantic shore. When we drive from home and pass the beach below us, she often comments on the color of the ocean. To me, it’s just ocean, but to my wife it is a palette. There is always something particular in the interaction of sea water and sky’s light that strikes her. Usually I am driving, so it’s all I can do to glance to my right and mutter uh-huh.

Marriage is like that, and not just in the cliché of the sensitive woman and the man who doesn’t get it. Marriage is less like the sunrise that I often admire from the same shore and more like a complex, ever-changing light show put on by sea and sky.

Probably this is why so many marriages end in disappointment: because the sunrise never lasts.

I am getting to the age, and I gather that Katie is too, when we have stopped expecting another sunrise and just enjoy the colors of the oceanscape. I have a lot to learn from her in this regard.

God knows it can get stormy here. When Katie was pregnant with our first child, we walked this strand in a rising hurricane. An early naval battle of the American Revolution was fought and won by the colonials right off this beach.

But lovers have walked here too, owners walk their dogs every day, and children splash and scoot.

To appreciate a marriage like ours, you have to have eyes like Katie’s, which admire the changing colors even when the sky turns stormy and the waves sink all but the strongest boats.

Being a painter, Katie teaches me about color and about perspective, too. Sea and sky reveal their interplay in the shifting palette of the ocean’s water, and they meet at the horizon.

3 comments:

  1. The best post Webster, and an antidote to the selfish perspective so many can develop from listening to the common mentality. The beauties of long married love - I am blessed to be living this too and yes it is stormy sometimes and no it's not always the sunrise. but it's beautiful.

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  2. Very soon my "stormy" husband and I will marry in the Church, and this is the right time for us! Gray has colored our hair but has faded away from the sky!By the way, the landscape in your picture is beautiful.

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  3. Thanks friends. Antonella, I am becoming less story as I become more gray. There's always hope! :-)

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