Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
You are two bodies,
But there is only one life before you.
When evening falls,
You’ll look up and there the other will be.
He’ll take your hand,
You’ll take his and turn together
To look at the road you travelled to reach this
–the hour of your happiness
It stretches behind you
Even as the future lies ahead.
Go now to your dwelling place
To enter into the days of your togetherness
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
May the sun bring you new energy by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries
And the breeze blow new strength into your being,
And all the days of your life may you walk
Gently through the world and know its beauty.
Epithalamion by Richard Crashaw
Long may this happy heaven-tied band
Exercise its most holy art,
Keeping her heart within his hand,
Keeping his hand upon her heart;
Except from her eyes
Feel he no charms;
Find she no joy
But in his arms;
May each maintain a well-fledged nest
Of winged loves in either’s breast;
Be each of them a mutual sacrifice
Of either’s eyes.
May their whole life a sweet song prove
Set to two well-composed parts
By music’s noblest master, Love,
Played on the strings of both their hearts;
Whose mutual sound
May ever meet
In a just round
Not short though sweet;
Long may heaven listen to the song
And think it short though it be long;
Oh, prove’t a well-set song indeed, which shows
Sweetest in the close.
Here all seeking is over,
The lost has been found,
A mate has been found
To share the chills of winter—
Now Love asks
That you be united.
Here is a place to rest,
A place to sleep,
A place in heaven.
Now two are becoming one,
The black night is scattered,
The eastern sky grows bright.
At last the great day has come!
People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck,
something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you are fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works.
Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
Louis de Bernieres (from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin)
“You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of heaven dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone.
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
Kahlil Gibran ~The Prophet
It is right and proper for a bride and bridegroom to welcome and celebrate their wedding day with a unique sense of triumph. When all the difficulties, obstacles, hindrances, doubts, and misgivings have been, not made light of, but honestly faced and overcome — and it is certainly better not to take everything for granted — then both parties have indeed achieved the most important triumph of their lives. With the “yes” that they have said to each other, they have, by their free choice, given a new direction to their lives; they have cheerfully and confidently defied all the uncertainties and hesitations with which, as they know, a lifelong partnership between two people is faced; and, by their own free and responsible action, they have conquered a new land to live in. Every wedding must be an occasion of joy that human beings can do such great things, that they have been given such immense freedom and power to take the helm in their life’s journey.
From “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Union by Robert Fulghum
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.
An excerpt from “The Art of Marriage”:
As you travel through your life together, always remember that…
‘A good marriage must be created. In marriage the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together and facing the world. It is forming a circle that gathers in the whole family. It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is not only marrying the right person— it is being the right partner.’”