Glacier Wisdom and the Movement of Truth

On a recent trip to Alaska, I came face to face with a magnificent glacier. The glacier was an amazing color, and to see it’s size and density was something to behold. Shrouded in clouds, and gleaming with iridescence light, the glacier stood out against the backdrop of dark stone it was buried in. The contrast struck me as familiar. The glacier represented how I find truth in my life, buried in stone and slowly moving into my awareness.

One of my favorite writers is Barbara Kingsolver and a quote of hers is:

“ Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier.”

I was on this trip with my husband and it was one of our shared “bucket list” items; to visit the great inside passage and see the majesty of Glacier Bay. We had traveled for two days on a cruise ship to reach this point, and the truth about our relationship was becoming more evident in the shared close quarters.

I was happy.

I have never thought of myself as a happy wife, or a happily married person. I have spent the better part of 18 years married, and on a quarterly basis I am packing up and moving out. In my mind.

I do this packing and distribution of assets thing. I say to myself, “I do not need a man” and “I can do so much better on my own”. I categorically go through a list of how to end my marriage.

In the span of this marriage, we have separated 4 times and got our own lawyers twice. We are as different as night and day and our uncommon attraction and pairing was evident from our first date. I wanted to walk on the beach, sip wine on a blanket and watch the sunset. He wanted to go to a Pizza place and watch the baseball game on the big screens.

It has not been an easy journey, and we have weathered our share of storms. We each brought children into the marriage, and crazy narcissistic ex- spouses. Our blending of all this made for a chaotic household, and it continues even today. Being together and making a life as a couple has felt like a roller coaster ride complete with all the dips, twists and turns.

Yet somehow on that cruise I came upon a bright and shining truth. Our marriage has been fortified, and strengthened by shared experiences. We find the same things funny, and we share mutual enjoyment in people watching. We enjoy each other’s company more than most of the other humans we encounter.

He will never jog the ships deck with me or take a Yoga class. He will not read poetry to me on a deck chair or dance with me till midnight at the Captain’s party. He will not shop and buy me trinkets or fancy jewelry in the various ports along the trip.

I know this.

I also know he will share his last bite of Creme Brulee with me. He will sit out on the deck and watch a movie under the stars, even though the air temperature was below 30 degrees. He will let me read in bed with the light on even though he is ready to fall asleep. He lets me have the bathroom first and for as long as I need it. He kisses me and says “Goodnight and love” without fail.

I know that acceptance is the key to happiness and the truth that settled on me is that I am happily married to the love of my life despite my undermining tendencies. Dark against shimmering light, my glacier of truth has arrived slowly and I am so grateful.

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