Nine Years …

The Garden – RUSH (Clockwork Angels)

In this one of many possible worlds, all for the best, or some bizarre test?
It is what it is – and whatever
Time is still the infinite jest

The arrow files when you dream, the hours tick away – the cells tick away
The Watchmaker keeps to his schemes
The hours tick away – they tick away

The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect
So hard to earn, so easily burned

In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect

In the rise and the set of the sun
‘Til the stars go spinning – spinning ’round the night
It is what it is – and forever
Each moment a memory in flight
The arrow flies while you breathe, the hours tick away – the cells tick away
The Watchmaker has time up his sleeve
The hours tick away – they tick away

The treasure of a life is a measure of love and respect
The way you live, the gifts that you give
In the fullness of time
It’s the only return that you expect

The future disappears into memory
With only a moment between
Forever dwells in that moment
Hope is what remains to be seen

[Lee, Lifeson, Peart]

I have been listening to a lot of RUSH lately. It is one of the many gems that Gary introduced me to during our early days almost twelve years ago. It reminds me of a time of stolen glances, secret lunches and flirting via SMS and email. It seems like a lifetime ago, yet the memories are as clear as if it were yesterday. It also reminds me that our mutual love of music is what bound us in those early days, how we would waste away hours listening to CDs or watching live concerts on DVD.

As a girl, I did not day-dream of a fairy tale wedding: I’m just not wired that way. I probably fit more into the tomboy category, having spent most of my life in jeans rather than dresses, being boys’ “best friend” rather than “girl-friend” and being more in love with books and rock music than I was with hair and makeup. I was not one of those girls who sat around day dreaming about walking down the aisle in a meringue dress with rose petals strewn at my feet, on my way to marry my Prince Charming. I was even told by more than one person at my own wedding that they were fully expecting to see me walk down that aisle in jeans and a t-shirt.

But I did however wear a pretty white dress, and there were indeed rose petals strewn at my feet. And I did marry my Prince Charming (in full hair and make-up. Mine, not his!).

Thinking back over the last nine years that we have been married, our relationship has never felt like hard work. Sure, there have been tough times, but we have always stayed best friends, and we have always remained in love with each other. We think the same way, we are always on the same page and, in general, it is always easy.

We went to a 60th birthday celebration a little while ago, and the overall theme of the host’s speech really resonated with me. He spoke of how the worth of one’s life is measured by the love and respect both from and to the people that surrounds them. And judging from the speeches that his friends and children made, there was love and respect in great supply all round. Which is perhaps why The Garden by RUSH is my favourite song at the moment. To quote a line from the CD booklet: “I have come to realize that the gathering of love and respect – from others and for myself – has been the real quest of my life. “Now we must tend our garden””

So what does all of this have to do with our ninth wedding anniversary you may be wondering? Well, when I think of Gary, I think of someone who is my friend, lover and soul-mate, but I also think of someone who is loved and respected by everyone around him. He cultivates good relationships with everyone: family, friends and work colleagues. If his life were to be measured by the love and respect that surrounds him, it would be deemed a very rich life indeed.

And it is my absolute privilege that he chose me to love.

I love you Gary, and I always will. Happy anniversary my love, I cannot think of anyone else I would rather wile away my time with. . . May we forever tend to and nurture our garden.

{Toadbury Hall, 27 February 2004}

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