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Sunday, May 11, 2014

127 Years

We used to say in Bundibugyo that time was compressed, kind of like "dog years."  We lived fuller, more complicated lives there.  More life, more death.  It was a complex web.  More happened in a given year than in the parallel lives of our friends elsewhere.  So 17 years in Bundibugyo (times 7) plus another ten outside the Twilight Zone... we've been married roughly 127 years.

On this Mother's Day as I pondered the life of the amazing mother of my children, I revisited my favorite wedding anniversary poem which Jennifer penned on our 20th.  The themes are poignant - sorrow, grief, pain - but like all of her favorite stories ultimately redemptive.   The ties strengthen with time, the hopes solidify, our bonds refined by fire….and our love paradoxically secured.

For Scott, on May 9, 2007

Twenty-year strong bond,
Forged by fire
Today celebrate firmness 
Found in mire
Bless bog's central solid ground:
This rock admire.

Intangible substance binds 
Us more sure
Than ring or name or contract-
Love pure,
The only cord whose weight 
Can life endure.

Liquid ecstasy one link
But weak,
Fouler fluids (pus, blood, tears)
Pool and reek
The truth of twenty-year trek
Through lands bleak.

Grief the furnace of our 
Resilient tie.
Losses: children, father, home
Some dreams die
Yet behind each a resurrected hope

This union of twenty years
Unyielding binds
The unseen years ahead where 
Time winds
Our thread through sorrows 
Yet to find.

Sorrows not yet seen, nor faith
Still undeterred
Wearing this fire-forged fetter of 
Freedom conferred
A paradox of pain and gain, by mournful
Bonds our love secured

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