It has been a long time since you have received a letter from me. All I can write is that I am sorry for that. When I learned that my last letter never arrived to you, I set about writing this as soon as I could; alas it was a longer delay than even I anticipated.
Though the words from my last letter have not been read, that fact has not decreased my love for you. If anything, the lack of expression has enhanced my desire to share with you what two souls that have been made for one another can share; a life, a love, a family, and a home. Our presence to one another this year has made some challenges dissolve like a mound of sand on a windy day; it has also let some others rise up like tempestuous waves looking to capsize our little raft of safety. Both are necessary in our life together, I see that now.
My Darling, what has always remained true for each of us is the commitment that we made some three years ago to love, honor, and share everything that God has provided to us with one another. Our second child is yet another overflow of the grace that we received on that day. How grateful can we be to God for giving us another beautiful child. Thank you, and thank Him! How happy have I been this year with you and our two little ones. How strained have we been in light of our projects, big and small, that we are so sure should be carried on and which nonetheless have been redirected by God? How much have we learned that God has given everything to us so that our lives are all-in-all, that we are called to Him through what we have been experiencing?
This year has been long; our love has been strengthened; and our partnership has been victorious countless times. I cannot help but wonder at the realization that we are still growing in intimacy; that time is not the primary factor when it comes to sharing ourselves. In fact, time has little to do with intensity, which I have come to realize is the deepening of our love for one another. Love is not about quantity; it is about quality. Its growth I see holds to the same rule. Some days we have shared together have seemed to suggest that we are steadily growing in our love; thankfully that illusion is shattered by the days upon those days that are altogether different. You know what I mean. I am mentioning those special periods that have catapulted us into a deepening field of our relationship. I cannot help but think, in those moments and at those times, that we have graduated to a new level of us, and that having thus graduated we have to learn new rules and new ways to interact with one another. Problems abound when we do not remember this. Please help us remember, you are always better at such things.
There I see it; the meaning of this letter is to point to the depth of marriage as a series of graduated encounters. Sometimes it is like floating down a river during which we hardly perceive the fact that as we move with the current we are descending; in these moments we are moving down the face of the mountain getting ever deeper, ever lower, ever closer to the roots of the mountain; to the roots of our love. At other times it is like being launched over a great precipice, a waterfall in the river; such encounters rarely leave either of us unbruised, but when our heads come up above the water we are closer and deeper in our love; we have graduated to a new field of love. What is interesting is that, in the former case, we are no less graduated. We must always look at one another as if we are in a newly discovered level of love, however subtle the change from one level to another may be. This newness means we must proceed with gentleness and patience as we learn the new ways to love one another; that “all bets are off” because what worked in the last level might need revision in the new one. It is the moments that launch us into markedly different levels of our relationship that actually reveal to us this fact about marriage; that marriage is the business of growing in depth, not duration. This is an amazing aspect of an amazing sacrament, and I love that aspect of you.
I have learned, over much time and especially in this year (ironically the year that took so long to write this letter) that time has little to do with intensity; it is grace that leads us to each other; and it is the love of God that has shared you with me. Keeping God at our core is the only way that we can get to the core of each other, and you and I have rediscovered that fact. (Isn’t it funny that this fact can only be re-discovered; that God has always called us to Himself so that we never just discover that He loves us, we always rediscover it, as if we always somehow knew that life is a gift from Him?) I thank you for your love, and I thank you for bringing our lovely family closer to each other and closer to God.
My Dearest, you are the source of my hope. You have always been by my side, and I love and thank you for leading me through this stormy world. I have written this to you before, and I write it again because it is always truer now than before: you are my adventure and my refuge. You excite me in every aspect of my life, challenging me at every turn to go beyond myself; to love, to fight, to live, to sacrifice. You are yet the solace that comforts me in times of distress, when I fail, and when I need comfort.
Please know, when this gets to you, that I am ever thinking of you and our love; that I now cannot wait to proceed to the next level of us with you. I will always love you, and you will always be my greatest accomplishment because I get to love such an infinitely loveable being, shared with me by God, entrusted to me by Him, and asked by Him to lead me back home.
I love you now and always,