As this, our fourth wedding anniversary, got closer and closer I found myself thinking a lot about boats.
Like the expression 'we're in the same boat'. Implying that someone is going through something you are going through as well. Or, 'don't rock the boat'. That one is pretty self explanatory. And, 'weathering the storm'. That one isn't specific to boats but you get the idea.
Marriage is its own boat. You and your partner are together in this shared space, working to keep what you've created afloat, moving and upright.
Sometimes the boat isn't moving because you are both working on your own things.
Sometimes your paddling in unison so beautifully that it's like you are flying together across the water/life and you can't imagine it being any other way besides harmonious.
Sometimes the surrounding storm can feel so utterly overwhelming and terrifying that you are not sure your boat will make it as you both try to stay present and safe.
And then there are the times when you are on two boats, side by side, tethered to each other but not much more connected than that.
As I look back over the last year, I can say without question that it was one of the hardest years for us since we've been together. We've had to face multiple challenges that have humbled us deeply.
While we never lost sight of each other, that tether between our boats got very long before we pulled back to each other. And that distance, once acknowledged, was scary to both of us.
In a way, though, it showed us just how strong our connection is, not to mention our commitment to each other.
The challenges aren't resolved, but we are making changes that will allow us to think forward again. Together.
In the same boat.