To live a full life, we must to be open and vulnerable. We cannot hide behind masks of self protection because we are afraid.
My wife Carolyn and I argued on the day we chose to have our anniversary dinner. It was a typical fight cycle that all couples experience and we are no different. Fortunately, we know a good marriage counselor….
We have been married 30 years May 13th 2019. We celebrated by spending a week together in an old converted Decoy House (where duck decoys were made by Maltby Bragg on Ocracoke Island in the 40’s). We came to Ocracoke because we had visited often early in our relationship and marriage, and we had not been back in 24 years. Most people in Kentucky have never heard of Ocracoke, a barrier island at the southern tip of the Outer Banks accessible only by ferry. It is a 2 hour and 45 minute ride from the mainland of North Carolina to the island; what an awesome place of beauty and grace.
We had a couple of firsts on this trip. We had not been away together, alone for a week since we had our first child 28 years ago. We took two consecutive weeks of vacation for the first time ever, the first week with family, the second here on Ocracoke, just us.
There are no stoplights on Ocracoke, no fast food places; it is part of the National Seashore Park with no building allowed on 13 miles of beach. Accommodations are in the village of Ocracoke on Silver Lake Harbor where generations of fishermen have lived and continue to do so alongside people who come to the island to recreate.
For a week, we have been immersed in nature and an opportunity to connect with each other. We have been able to stop and just be. What a blessing. I thank God for it and for Carolyn.
On the night we had our “official” anniversary dinner at the Back Porch, another place of memories, and great food, we sat on our deck near the Ocracoke Lighthouse, drinking Prosecco and listening to Vince Gill, one of our favorite artists.
There was a moment, a blessed moment of deep connection, of thirty years of shared experience of joy and pain, triumphs and failures, faith and doubt. All captured in this possibly corny and pretentious moment of Vince Gill poetry:
“We found passion and grace in each other’s face
And our hearts will now beat as one
For we both know a place where our souls have embraced
I think it’s what they all call love”
from What They All Call Love
We wept, together, because we knew we had found passion and grace in each other’s face.