My best girlfriend got married on Sunday in Denver. Although I would have loved to be there in person, it’s a long journey to get anywhere from the arctic. With upcoming retreats, a trip to the lower 48 wasn’t in the cards. Sean and I were fortunate to join via Zoom.
During the ceremony, there was a reading from James Dillet Freeman that felt particularly poignant, as Sean and I had celebrated our own 11th wedding anniversary on Saturday.
“May you always need one another — not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the mountain less, but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it.”
I believe all partnerships we encounter in life (marriage or otherwise) are chances for us to learn about ourselves. Sean and I spent the better part of our first eight years of marriage pursuing our own passions, coming together for epic experiences and expeditions, crossing our careers through Riding On Insulin, but essentially charting our own paths through personal growth.
It wasn’t until we moved to the arctic that the shared vision materialized. We started growing together. Building Arctic Hive allowed us to — in the poetic prose of the reading — need one another, to help us know our own fullness.
It’s powerful to witness this wisdom in nature. In all directions from Arctic Hive, valleys are magically juxtaposed with mountain peaks. The peaks are covered in a few layers of snow, while the valleys still feature running creeks and rivers, surrounded by hard-packed frosty tundra.
One aspect doesn’t overtake the other… they operate harmoniously. Their unique juxtaposition together is what makes it so breathtaking. And to create that breathtaking vista, they need one another. They aren’t hemming and hawing over their greatness, or codependency, or who’s blocking the light from the other. They just are.
If only we could all so effortlessly embody nature’s steadfastness!
The last line of the reading was my favorite:
“May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.”
Because I believe life isn’t about finding love. We either recognize love, or we don’t — and when we do, we know it's true because of our own experience loving. If we’ve never had the experience of loving someone/something, how do we know how to recognize love when it’s coming at us?
The action of loving is what validates the love we have.
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