This is a season of anniversaries in our family: Terence and I celebrate 7 years tomorrow. My in-laws and my sister’s in-laws both celebrated 45 years today. My parents will celebrate 42 years on December 6. It’s also thanksgiving season, of course, and I’m certainly grateful to have the example of these long-standing, devoted, flexible marriages as Terence and I are still at the very beginning of ours.
We’ve been exploring the Galilee for the past few days, where we drove through Cana, site of Jesus’ first miracle, and I remembered this poem. Wilbur wrote it for his son’s wedding but I think it’s lovely for any occasion.
Wedding Toast – Richard Wilbur
St. John tells how, at Cana’s wedding feast,
The water-pots poured wine in such amount
That by his sober count
There were a hundred gallons at the least.
It made no earthly sense, unless to show
How whatsoever love elects to bless
Brims to a sweet excess
That can without depletion overflow.
Which is to say that what love sees is true;
That this world’s fullness is not made but found.
Life hungers to abound
And pour its plenty out for such as you.
Now, if your loves will lend an ear to mine,
I toast you both, good son and dear new daughter.
May you not lack for water,
And may that water smack of Cana’s wine.