|Buffalo roaming grassy foothills outside of Waterton National Park, Alberta|
This week Linda and I celebrated our 20th year of officially hanging out with each other after 6 years of non-state-sanctioned cohabitation. We knew we could harmonize, and decided to make it official, sign the contract, and vow to make beautiful music together till death do us part.
On March 20, 1993 Linda and I, along with a small group of friends and family, gathered on an expanse of windswept prairie grass dotted with the first purple crocuses of spring.
Before us roamed a herd of shaggy buffalo, grazing in front of the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. The dark beasts, which symbolize prayer and abundance, are seen as a blessing to local First Nations. We too, felt blessed by their presence.
|Buffalo symbolizes prayer |
Strong winds threatened to sweep us out onto the flat expanse of the prairies behind us, but our small group of supporters huddled together to keep us anchored.
They would be our choir, our back up singers whose voices enhance our own. We would need them - in 1995 Linda was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, news that would alter our lives forever.
We were ready for it as we started together with a strong foundation and clear mission in life.
On that windy day twenty years ago, Linda and I exchanged vows that we adapted from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet that reflected our shared love of nature, music, and living a simple, purposeful life.
Our vows were based on excerpts from "On Friendship":
"And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
And from "On Love":
"Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips."
And finally, from "On Marriage":
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.