June 6, 2017, Prescott-
So, on this day, thirty-five years ago, I made the wisest move I have ever made, and took the vow of matrimony. A Baha’i marital vow is simple: “We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God.” That divine will took the two of us to great heights: Pilgrimage to the Baha’i Holy Places, in Haifa and Akko’, with side visits to Holy Places of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Galilee; various journeys of service around North America, to Guyana and to Taiwan; many years of work with children and youth, on the Dineh (Navajo) and Hopi Nations and perhaps, most consequentially, five and one-half years in Jeju, Korea, the birthplace of our son. There were depths to be navigated, as well: Penny’s debilitating disease, the worst effects of which were concurrent with the subprime mortgage crisis, the Madoff scandal and the “Great Recession”-each of which impacted us, directly or indirectly. Standing by her side, until the end, was simply part and parcel of what my love called me to do. Likewise, as I confronted my own demons, in the midst of all this, she supported me and her spirit has brought me through to the other side of the tunnel.
I am reminded of so much, this morning, after talking at length with our son, who, likewise, has stood by me, disagreeing with some family members, when they castigated what they saw as my irresponsibility and setting me straight, when he has seen the path veering off in an odd direction. He’s been right, on both counts, showing that the one thing I have done right in this life has been to raise and guide an exemplary human being. This morning, I looked at photos of Aram and his sweetheart, sensing that he continues to thrive and find his way along this marvelous, but often treacherous, road.
I have reached a minor crossroads, in my own life. There is the option of staying the course, which would cause discomfort for my critics, as well as, initially, for me. There is the option of moving to a more rustic part of Prescott, a place I visited yesterday, and find most salubrious. There is the option of moving to a high desert community, close to the workplace of two of the most supportive souls I’ve ever known. In each case, I know it’s time, as I’ve said repeatedly of late, to simplify, to downsize and to detach.
Thirty-five years after we took our vows, my love’s spirit urges me on.