Today (at least, as I write this; likely it will be posted days after) is my wedding anniversary. Eight years ago today I utter vows to Poseidon that would bind me to Him for the rest of my life. It’s one thing to say that; oaths don’t actually bind us, not physically. It’s a decision, a daily choice, to be made again and again and again. It’s something else to make that choice, again and again and again.
These weren’t the first of my vows to Him. We’d met years before, and the year preceding my marriage vows we’d had a ‘trial run’, if you will. Before I knew of divine marriages, of bridal mysticism. We had beneath us a solid foundation of trust built up over time, a foundation of mutual affection and interest, of coming to understand what each other brought to our relationship. Because I believe, utterly, that we bring something to the table when it comes to relationships with the spirits, and I do my best to ignore that tiny voice that insists that everyone else has something of value to offer, but I alone clearly cannot possibly. Why else would they bother with us?
Eight years. Granted, my marriage is not an orthodox marriage. It’s not typical, it’s not standard. Well. Considering the people I count among my nearest and dearest, one could argue that if it’s not standard, if it’s not typical, it’s not all that far from it, but that’s not my point. After eight years, the first few of which were trying to the point of almost breaking, you might think that I would, in my mind, think of myself as a married woman.
I know that I am. Poseidon is first in my thoughts upon waking (unless the dog gets there first). I turn my mind to Him throughout the day. I maintain that, years and years ago now, He saved my life and I would a wretched mess if not for Him. Others helped, but they all came later. He came first. He took the bitter, cynical, withdrawn Ice Princess that I had been and offered me shelter and compassion and love. I’m mindful of my vows. I wear my wedding band. I cover my hair for a dozen reasons, the first of which being He wishes it of me. I consider Him when I undertake a new task or project. It is a delicate balance, walking the way with Him, sorting out what is mentor/student, what is Husband/wife, and that line isn’t always solid.
A friend of mine is getting married. We grew up together, she and I. We go way, way, way back. She assures me, repeatedly, that she doesn’t feel grown up. It’s absurd; we’re in our thirties. I can remember when thirty was so grown up. We were both of us old by the time we were twelve. We both dealt with jobs and bills and adult situations well before we were twenty. It is absurd that we can reach thirty and have grey in our hair and feel like children. It doesn’t help, I’m sure, that we each of us look younger than our ages, despite that grey.
It’s likely that, once she is wed, she is still not going to feel like a married woman. It’s likely that she will continue to feel like a child playing wife. I mused on that today, as I took a walk with my Husband and enjoyed the spring morning. I turned this over in my mind, and I came back to my reoccurring problem with taking myself seriously. I’ve made progress in this; it took me years to take my approach to my gods seriously. Not that I thought they weren’t real or they weren’t worth it or even that they didn’t want what I had to offer. The fact that my marriage isn’t typical – I can’t bring my Husband to my mother so she can meet Him and interact with Him, I can’t go out on dates and be seen with Him (though I can, and do, go out on dates) – does make it harder to treat as real. This was one of the struggles I faced, during the first few years of being married. How can it be real if others can’t validate it for me? If not for me, at least along with me? Happily, I’ve moved beyond that now, but it was hard going.
Eight years feels significant. I am two years shy of beating my longest relationship, only it doesn’t feel like it for Poseidon was in my life even when that relationship was beginning. Eight is His number, so that feels significant, as well. I took the day off from work and I had plans, weeks ago – a picnic lunch, a day spent with Him out of the house, wandering around. Still recovering from the flu knocked me down for a few weeks, and still mucking through the shock of having to rehome some of our family, the idea of being out and about town is too overwhelming. I want shelter and warmth and cozy. So, instead, we shared our cup of tea in the morning, and I spent some time just reading, and we took a walk and communed, and I spent time at the library, and we had another walk, and then a nap. It was healing and quiet and good.
I am so grateful to know Him, so grateful that He’s a part of my life. Not that long ago, being faced with having to lose some of the people in my family would have had me pulling away, turning on Him and on Odin, would have had me fighting and attacking, even though part of me is going to end up relieved in the end. Today, for right now, I am able to embrace the comfort He offers, and the love, and I am able to let it cocoon me. His gratitude is humbling. I face it now and again, most acutely when I return home from a trip back East. Without counting the things I do for Him, my just being here, away from what I grew up knowing, living my life of partial seclusion, He is grateful for. I moved here because it was beautiful, because we fell in love just visiting, because They wanted us out of Philadelphia, but we would have gone a distance from our original home-bases regardless of where we ended up, and we would have done that for the seclusion. It is a valuable tool to focus ourselves, but it’s also emotionally difficult at times. I mourn the life I can’t live; I miss being a daily part of the lives of my niece and nephews, I regret not being able to be a resource for my mother. I’ll carry that with me for my life, and it will always be a weight. I carry that weight for Him, because of Him, and I can’t deny Him the gratitude that He feels because of it.
There are ups and downs. It’s a marriage; there always will be. But, I love Him deeply and I’m so thankful to be His.
Hail my Husband. Hail Poseidon!