GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection

#101 — September 1, 2020

Love is stronger than death…

— The Song of Solomon

Welcome, Inspired Seekers!

As you read this newsletter on September 1, 2020, I will be celebrating my 36th wedding anniversary with my beloved. I am grateful and joyful that we are sharing this day but, as with many things this year, our celebration is quite different. There is no secret trip away; there is no celebratory vacation planned around the specialness of this date; there is no dinner shared at a restaurant culminating with Happy Anniversary written in chocolate on the plate. This year is different.

And yet, in that difference, there is a comfort to be found in the 36-year history – more than half my life – that I have experienced with my husband. And that history contains lessons that might serve us well if we apply them to this year of a thousand bumper cars.

As anyone who has been married for years will tell you, one of the first lessons to be learned is how to argue respectfully, and then move on. Based on our histories, our triggers and our filters, our processes are different; but, beyond the argument is the love. If you let go of the love, you let go of each other.

The first years of marriage are pretty easy, in spite of adjusting to little quirks and surprise differences. The bigger challenge is sustaining this sacred relationship. The heart-felt words, touches and time dedicated to each other while balancing careers, bills, kids and family issues are necessary nurturing sustenance that feeds our mutual soul and moves us forward.

Daily acts of kindness refuel our spirits and remind us that we are in a holy relationship, guided by our principles and faith and deserving of dedicated care.

There are many more lessons that I have learned during the last 36 years and not all of them have been easy and without mistakes.

Like a marriage, our community contains our lifetime relationships and, at the moment, it seems as if we are on shaky ground.

Have we forgotten how to argue, respectfully, with each other? Have we forgotten that we are in a sacred relationship with the earth and its inhabitants and that when one suffers, we all do? Have we gotten so caught up in the busyness that we have neglected our sense of presence? When was the last time we offered kindness and made choices in accordance with our beliefs? Have we let go of our love for each other?

I will celebrate this milestone anniversary with joy and the generosity of a humble heart, thankful for the forgiveness, love and grace my beloved and I have shared. My hope is that we all begin to celebrate each other, once again. We are all in this together. Till death do us part.

Grace, Fully Yours,
Reverend Deborah

Monthly Affirmation: I offer kindness and compassion to all in my words and works.

The Reverend Deborah Darlington officiates weddings, vow renewals and other rites of passage for people of all faiths and no faith. She can be reached at or 215 260 1611.