We Know Where Our Towels Are

My colleague clergy and I were talking at staff meeting about how fast time passes; for instance, I’ve lived in Abingdon for seven months now, after three months in Headington, after ten months in our second home in Oxford. We’re beginning to feel cautiously secure after months of housing instability.

Contrariwise for our lives together: Margaret and I married forty-two (auspicious sum!) years ago today, and that duration seems both long (each has lived [roughly] twice as long married as we did single) and fast as the burst of a strobe light. Our hearts and years expanded to include children (once children, now all very adult) and grandchildren, and hundreds and hundreds of students, and friends from Maine and Pittsburgh and New Haven and Durham NC and Florida and Princeton and Evanston and Maryland and Glasgow and Oxford. We have family in the US who we don’t see enough, some we will never see again; we’ve shared our lives with Pearl the Wonder Dog, and Beatrice, and now Minke and Señora Flora Dora ‘Ora Labora’ Dinosaura, and it’s amazing cos we only got married, what, a few days ago?

I married a sweet, lovely couple at St Helen’s last Saturday; I asked them ‘N., will you take M. to be your wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?’ ‘M., will you take N. to be your husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?’

Margaret, will you take me for your husband, for another forty-two years… and beyond?

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