My soul mate is on a plane to Denver.  Tonight she will visit our youngest, and then she will head north to work with students we coach in the equine certification program.  Our house is quiet, the sky filled with clouds, the earth awaiting rain.

Yesterday we celebrated our anniversary.  We had a relaxed dinner at a place whose cuisine we enjoy.  It was very different from a year ago when our children surprised us with a gala barbecue that filled our home with family, friends, music and laughter.

Reflecting on our years together, I am reminded of a friend’s observation that those who choose marriage end up in three relationships.  They can be with the same person or different people.  I can see that ours has followed that pattern in 20-year chapters.

The first relationship was marked by the passion of exploring the attractions that drew us to each other, creating a life together, stuttering starts in employment and the miracles of four children.  It ended on some bumps that led to a defining recommitment.

The second relationship accompanied a deepening of the professional pursuits we each adopted and attending to parental responsibilities, as our children bounced their way through adolescence and launched into adulthood.

We are now in our third marriage, living many of the dreams that our hearts embraced long ago – children who love and honor us and each other as siblings, a home on a hill with a view, a business of our own that delivers the values of what we have learned over the years.  Did I mention our grandchild?

We continue as companions of each other’s history.  We focus on the joy in each day and gently prepare for what lies ahead.  With deepest gratitude we celebrate the blessings that have come our way and that we are to each other, one marriage of three relationships.