You can go here, to The Poetry Foundation, to read "The Beautiful Changes" by Richard Wilbur, but to motivate your click, I'll slip you the final lines of this masterpiece:
Your hands hold roses always in a way that says
They are not only yours; the beautiful changes
In such kind ways,
Wishing ever to sunder
Things and things’ selves for a second finding, to lose
For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.
The beautiful has changed for us, in so many ways, and to say that our marriage has experienced a second finding is a wry understatement. But yes, the beautiful changes in kind ways, and leaves me full of wonder.
For more Richard Wilbur (because there can never be too much Wilbur), go here.
And in further honor of Atticus the Wonderful, I'm rerunning this post about him from 2008:
Happy Anniversary, Atticus!
We've been married for 24 years -- we're practically silver!
In honor of rerunning our love for 24 years, I'm rerunning a meme about our marriage.
Happy Anniversary, Atticus! I love you with all my heart.
1. Where/How did you meet?
In college -- i.e., in a previous life.
Don't believe in reincarnation? I do -- it's just that it happens during this life, not after. It's called redemption. In other words -- the people we met back then? Not the people we are now.
2. How long have you known each other?
3. How long after you met did you start dating?
I knew Atticus only vaguely when I was a freshman. He was an ex-Marine who scared me. My best friend said he had the handwriting of an axe murderer.
I found out later that Atticus saw me in a play that year (I played the part of an 80-year-old woman dying of cancer) and said to himself, "I'm going to marry her." I was relieved to find out that he based this on my picture in the program rather than on how I looked onstage (although, it was a truly awful picture, proving that he's always had quirky taste in women.)
A couple of years later, he was in a play, and I thought he looked dashing rather than scary. I made my move.
4. How long did you date before you were engaged?
That depends on what you mean by "date" and by "engaged."
5. How long was your engagement?
About three weeks. I said, "Hey, my parents will be in town for my sister's wedding. Should we get married that weekend, too?" He said okay.
I'm not kidding.
6. How long have you been married?
24 years, to everyone's surprise. (2016 update, in case you hate doing math: 32 years.)
7. What is your anniversary?
The feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas (though clearly we had no idea at the time.)
8. How many people came to your wedding reception?
9. What kind of cake did you serve?
One that served 15.
10. Where was your wedding?
In the courthouse. We were married by a judge (a valid marriage in the eyes of the Church, by the way, as neither of us was Catholic nor had we been raised Catholic. The marriage became a sacramental one six years later, when I was baptized; Atticus had been baptized in the Lutheran church as an infant. We didn't have to "do anything" about our marriage when I, and later Atticus, became Catholic.)
11. What did you serve for your meal?
Everyone ordered his or her own meal at a restaurant.
12. How many people were in your bridal party?
Two -- the matron of honor and the best man.
13. Are you still friends with them all?
My sister is still my friend, thank goodness. And, yes, we still stay in touch with the best man, a friend who was also a former college professor. (2016 update: Sadly, he passed away last August.)
I almost had my best friend, Jack, act as my "man of honor" but ended up deciding on my sister. ( I was, however, the "best woman" at Jack's wedding.)
14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony?
I don't think so.
15. Most special moment of your wedding day?
Realizing I was actually married, that I was actually Mrs. Edmisten (although, I didn't change my name for seven or eight years.)
16. Any funny moments?
No -- unless you count our entire way of doing things.
17. Any big disasters?
No -- unless you count our entire way of doing things.
18. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We didn't go anywhere right away, but went to Florida about six months later.
19. How long were you gone?
Long enough to get a really bad sunburn, eat a lot of shrimp, and go to Disney World.
20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change?
On the one hand, everything. I've sometimes wondered what a normal wedding would have been like.
On the other hand, nothing. God took the raw material of who and what we were, and here we are today, by His grace. Can I improve upon His handiwork?
21. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
The side children always seemed to show up on.
22. What size is your bed?
It's always been big enough for both of us, a cat, and sometimes a child, though I always slept better without a small child's feet in my face.
23. Greatest strength as a couple?
That we both really love being home together, we both really love being parents, and we -- finally -- share our faith.
24. Greatest challenge as a couple?
Agreeing on the date night movie.
25. Who literally pays the bills?
I sit down to do the paperwork, overflowing with gratitude that Atticus supports the mission of a stay-at-home mom.
26. What is your song?
Nat King Cole singing, The Christmas Song. Very sweet story behind it.
27. What did you dance your first dance to?
At our wedding? Or ever? If it's "ever" it's probably something that involved pogoing.
28. Describe your wedding dress:
It was a simple dress, probably not worth describing to those who enjoy such things ... I've never been good at describing much of anything about clothing. Most of the time, my eyes glaze over and I'm lost when it comes to talking about fabrics, beads and accessories.
29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding?
At the time, I was sort of the same way about flowers that I was about dresses and fabrics.
But, if I were to marry Atticus again, I would want just a few roses, to thank St. Therese for her intercession over the years.
30. Are your wedding bands engraved?
No. They're simple, plain gold bands. I didn't want an engagement ring, either, because we didn't really do the whole engagement thing and I've never cared much about diamonds.
But, I treasure my plain, gold band. It's been through a lot with us.
Happy Anniversary, Sweetie. Oh, did I say that already? Well ... here's hoping I get to say it for many, many more years to come.
Tara Smith is hosting the Poetry Friday round up today at A Teaching Life.