Five Minute Friday: Ocean

Ocean

Gentle Reader.

Lightning flashed, thunder rolled, the rain poured down. Electricity flickered on and off. The dogs barked, then snuggled close. Not a big fan of storms, I was in no mood to open my computer and try to string words together, like popcorn on a Christmas garland. I listened to all the sounds and ran my hands through soft fur, assuring the animals that they would be all right. Assuring myself.

Kate says: ocean.

Go.

The husband and I spent four days on the Oregon coast last week, celebrating twelve years of marriage. I’m not sure where the time went. Hours that drag when you’re a child suddenly speed up and the calendar turns with unstoppable ferocity. Then, we were babies, both just 21. Now, we ease into our mid-thirties, buffeted and scarred by the tempests of life but still together. Still holding on. Still choosing love, even in the middle of fights.

Because we do fight. Oh, not shouting matches. No name-calling. No throwing things. We both have strong personalities, expressed in different ways, and the sense of absolute rightness that tends to arise among firstborn children. More often than not, we’re good at the give and take. Some things I just don’t care about. Other things he has no opinion on. But when we clash, we clash. It’s on like Donkey Kong. (Man, did I just date myself there).

We sat and watched the waves together, breathing in the salty air. Beneath the surface the currents roiled, revealing themselves in white caps and sea spray. The scent of burning, wet wood stung my nostrils as Chris built a bonfire on the beach. My soul seemed to spread out, enjoying a space and relaxation that everyday life doesn’t afford. It was the peace of the coast, but it was not silent. Never that. Water, wind, wordless.

I have not been married long enough to give anyone advice. I think you have to hit the 20-year mark for that. One thing I do know, though, is that marriage is like the ocean: Rarely calm, always surprising. Two people bounce off of each other like sand dollars washed to shore. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it seems as if the storm will never end. Then, like a blazing sunset on the watery horizon, something reminds you why you chose this person – a hand squeeze, an old joke, communication with a glance.

And you know.

Stop.

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15 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Ocean

  1. Uncle John and I will be married 32 years this September and yes, our relationship is a lot like what you described about you and Chris. But when I think about it, I come to the conclusion that it’s exactly why we chose each other – because our differences “compliment” one another and our “sameness” or “similarities” enhance one another. It’s a formula that has worked thus far! Glad you and Chris had the time to just “be” and truly celebrate 12 years of marriage and whatever the Lord has in store for you two for the future! We love you guys!

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  2. Happy anniversary! I strongly believe that arguments in relationships are healthy. Otherwise one person is caving to the other, because there is no way people will always agree.

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    1. Thanks, Brooke! I agree with you. Fighting all the time isn’t good, but never fighting isn’t good, either. Disagreement is part of being different people. I’m glad that God uses our differences to make us stronger together.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “My soul seemed to spread out, enjoying a space and relaxation that everyday life doesn’t afford.” Such a precious gift. Beautiful post, Marie. God speed to you and Chris on your journey together.

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    1. Thank you, Esther! Part of me wishes that I could be on the beach all the time, but I know that I would eventually take it for granted just as I do the beautiful mountains and lakes around here. I’m glad that God put all this variety in the world for us to enjoy. Getting away from the norm is a true treat.

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  4. I really liked these words.
    I guess we are the same age. I got married twelve years ago when I was 21. I laughed at your comments about what marriage is like. And that you wouldn’t give anyone advice. I agree, except maybe what not to do. I have four kids and think I could give advice in some ways in that realm, but as for marriage I think your ocean analogy is fitting. I loved your description of what seems like a never ending storm and then the sun streaks a blazing sunset sending you a reminder of why. Yeah that pretty much sums it up.

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    1. Well, happy anniversary at some point this year, then!

      I admire the couples I know who have been married forever and are happy. (Because, let’s be real, we all know people who stay together but their marriages aren’t good). There’s a particular pair at my church that are just so…at peace with each other. I look forward to growing into that.

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    1. “Sometimes, we forget to rediscover.”

      What a truth that is. I heard someone (I think it was Beth Moore) that love is a choice while falling in love happens multiple times throughout marriage.

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  5. an excellent reflection on the days you’ve had together. time by the ocean in Oregon would be a dream for me too. love that it seems you can breathe just a bit deeper and wider and longer when the salt water hits your noise. happy belated anniversary

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