|Our tenth anniversary, 5 May 2004|
"What did you write about?" That's what Smart Guy asked me as I started to get out of bed this morning, after having read the news, checked Google Reader for the latest entries in the blogs I follow, and wondered why I was ready to get up and start my day and it was still so early. The truth is, I was so focused on going skydiving today with my friends that I completely forgot my Sunday post!
Skydiving is such a powerful activity that it knocked me right out of my usual morning routine. I had already decided to skip getting the Seattle Times and head right out the door at 8:30am to get to the Drop Zone by 10:00am. All during the fall and winter I get breakfast to go at the Swan Cafe and a latte for me, come home and read the hard copy paper before I do much of anything else. Although by that time I have spent an hour or two with my laptop and usually have some idea of what I am going to write for my Sunday post. Not today. I was completely taken by surprise when he asked me that question, because it never even occurred to me! Sometimes I begin to write this post the night before, thinking about what's on my mind and conceiving the opening paragraph. The rest usually follows from that opening.
About the picture. Since we were married in freefall on 5 May 1994, we celebrated our tenth anniversary in 2004 by jumping out of the same airplane together and hiring one of the videographers to take a video and pictures for the occasion. This next decadal anniversary, our twentieth, will be celebrated some other way, since our skydiving activity is beginning to wind down, and that's another two years away. I don't expect I will still be jumping then, or if I am, it will still not be possible since Smart Guy has pretty much stopped jumping because of various shoulder injuries. Our last jump together was last season, when he realized that during the skydive he was unable to assume a normal freefall position because of serious pain in his shoulder joints. At least it was a jump we made together and when he landed, we both decided he wouldn't make any more jumps that day. It hasn't improved much since then. A small careless movement can cause him serious pain. Certainly not what you want to happen when you are needing to pull handles to deploy your parachute, or to deal with a malfunction!
Everything has its season, and I am grateful that we are both as healthy and happy together as we are. By the time you turn seventy, it's perfectly okay to take up activities that are not as, well, exuberant as jumping out of an airplane. He has taken up calligraphy and is learning how to write Chinese characters. It's amazing to me to see how it's done, the precise brush strokes with thickness and direction paramount in transferring meaning to the page. He also walks daily. I am a social exerciser, and he is a solitary one, but we do sometimes go on walks together.
Although I am still skydiving, and I work out almost every day, it doesn't separate me from my partner. He is still the most important person in my life, and we share our days and our nights in true harmony. Who would have ever believed it? We met when we were both fifty years old and married a few years later. We are as different as night and day, but we have learned so much from each other. Although skydiving brought us together, and it was a necessary ingredient in our ability to meet, it's not the center of our existence. The richness of our present lives is a result of the blending we have created out of our differences.
We are both changed from living together and learning how a complete extrovert can accommodate a complete introvert. How a morning person can live with a night person. Temporal versus spatial orientation. You name it: we are a miracle. And to be so happy together: that's the true miracle!