Journeying through life as a healthy couple.
This is how it should be. Dragging our chairs to the beach to watch the day go by. Bundling up, facing each other, holding hands — yet each having a different view, a different perspective.
I saw this couple one afternoon on Cannon Beach when I was exploring tide pools. They reminded me of what healthy relationships are all about; to be together — not always looking at the same things — sharing the adventures and differences we each experience with another at the end of our day.
Holding hands for the duration—through the wind, the storms, the high and low tides. Through the hot sun and the cool cover of the clouds. Dragging our chairs through the sand—maybe sometimes when we don’t want to, but knowing the other needs us to be there—even if it’s just to sit in silence.
Just like life — hoods up, tied tight, ready for the next blast of wind.
That’s how we grow as individuals in a healthy relationship. We find someone that will want to drag their chair out to the beach with us and they look south while we look north. And then we hold hands and tell each other what we’re looking at; our own independent and personal perspective. Disagreeing respectfully if need be and learning something different in the process. But always bonded by the touch of a hand. Honoring each other as human beings. And growing.
Klink and I knew we’d never grow old together — but we definitely had this and I’m grateful for it. We held hands throughout our entire marriage and I cherish that. The touch of his rough skin; the gentle tug towards him when he felt I was in danger—or about to walk into a tree. I don’t think it matters if we achieve sustainable love together when we’re both 80 years old, or if one is 40 and the other is 60. Having it at some point—that intimate feeling we get when we see someone reach for our hand—is a healthy way to journey through life as a couple.
In the end, we may end up being the ones dragging both of our chairs to the beach in order to share our time together. Because if we don’t, the other may not be able to go with us. Maybe the weight is too much for them so we carry them for both of us and we do it freely because we know it’s important—because it’s sustainable love. And, in time, if the weight of the chairs get too heavy even for our own tired bodies to carry, we grab a beach towel and go sit, alone, adapting to the change; capturing our experiences and adventures of the day in order to return back to our companion and share. So they can still see and feel and be a part of the world.
And then the day may come when there is no longer a reason to go to the beach.
So we go for a long walk, instead. To breathe and explore and open up our hearts again. But we keep the old, weatherworn chairs tucked away in the back of the dark shed — because someday we may need to sweep the hard, cold sand off them both and drag them down to the beach…once again.