It has the colors and the rhythms of the sea in it. And he knew it was just for me.
Back when we’d only been married a year or two, in a little German Christmas market in Edinburgh, we bought bratwurst and mulled wine to hold in our hands to thaw our fingertips. It was a little piece of magic for grad students with barely any money or what felt like free time, so we basked in the steam coming off of our beverages, and walked to Christmas music and in-between stalls. There, my husband spotted what has become my favorite necklace. It’s not gold or encrusted with diamonds, but what makes it special is that he knows me well enough (even then) to pick something that I’d carry with me for more than a dozen years. Not just a piece many women would want (pearls, diamonds) but something unique to me. He knows me. In fact, he’s always been terrific at picking out clothes or jewelry for me — finding that perfect little something that says, “I see you. I know you. You are mine.”
This necklace that I tend to finger when I’m a bit nervous or need something to do with my hands, also speaks to me of adventures. Of living in Scotland; of traveling to Greece and eating feta cheese and staying in a “hotel” with scratchy blankets and twin beds; of walking 5 miles a day around an ancient castle; of climbing stairs upon stairs to a tiny office with a tiny window overlooking the Meadows; of the dusty smell of the National Library. But, also adventures of another sort.
The adventure of making home together for more than a decade, whether we’re somewhere exotic or right where we started from. The adventure of daily bread and daily grace, that we’re committed to showing up. Extending grace upon grace, when we’re grouchy, and hungry for alone time, and can’t handle the noise anymore. A grace that says, “You know me and I know you” and I love you with all of your bumps and imperfections and rather workaday edges, because I’ve got them too. It’s a simple necklace, and a simple grace, that grows in attractiveness as it is well-used.
But there’s so much in me that wants to (and does) hammer for my own rights and preferences rather than learn to die to my own agenda day-by-day. Not the type of death, of course, in a “let’s be a doormat” kind-of-way, but rather, that in little acts of sacrifice, and as I learn to value others, I am becoming more whole. More fully alive. More fully myself, more of who I was created to be. So today that may mean I actually get in the fort and laugh and play with my children (instead of my phone), or I don’t leave my stuff like a trail of crumbs around the house because it stresses my husband out. It means little choices like homemade pumpkin bread and fall leaves collected for the dinner table. It can also mean shucking the to-do list and having a big bowl of popcorn or takeout and a movie night. It means that I look my husband in the eye when he comes home, kiss him like he knows me instead of like my 5th child, and thank him that we get to do this crazy adventure together. Right now. Today. Because his eyes have the rhythm and colors of the sea, too.
This is the nineteenth post for the Write 31 days challenge, where I’ll be writing every day through the month of October. I’m excited to see what comes of this daily practice. I’d love for you to comment, pin the above image, share posts and subscribe to receive posts to the right in the sidebar as we work through these things together. Posts in the series are all linked to from the first post.