I was at the Bryn Mawr PA train station waiting for a train to take me into Philadelphia for a party I was going to attend. Someone I knew slightly walked by me without noticing me, so I called after her.
We chatted as we waited for the train. She had been visiting her younger sister at Shipley, then a girl’s boarding school, from which she had herself graduated the previous Spring. I had been nearby at Bryn Mawr College (sister to my alma mater Haverford) visiting a friend.
The train was late, which meant she was going to miss her connection out to her home in Wallingford, so I suggested we go all the way into Suburban Station while she waited for her next train in about an hour, and I would take her out for coffee and pie.
We talked and I was quickly impressed with her intelligence. What she had not known is that I had first seen her when she had visited a music theory class at Haverford with the wife of my German teacher, nor had she realized that I had watched her at the church we both attended at that time. I had gotten to know her in part because her father had helped arrange for me to spend time at an Episcopalian Benedictine Monastery in Michigan during the just past summer. She was now taking a year off between high school and college (Harvard) to seriously study ballet and to work part time.
She was more than ten years younger than me, but I was impressed not only by her intelligence and drawn to her physical attractiveness, but also blown away by her maturity.
That was a Saturday. When I saw her family in church the next day I asked if, given my age, there would be objection to my taking her out to dinner. Knowing me, there was not, and the following Friday, when she was housesitting for that faculty couple, she and I walked into Bryn Mawr to eat, then back to the place she was staying. That first evening I discovered that she knew more about Beethoven than I, a music major did. I share with her my love of William Blake. That was Sept. 27. Within two weeks it became clear we were in love with one another, although it took until Dec, 29, 1985, before we married.
We always celebrate this day as our anniversary — that is, our first of multiple anniversaries.
When she woke up this morning she took my hand and wished me a happy anniversary.
We may be worried about many things — her health, the pandemic, my health, the election, what happens to Ginsburg’s seat, the future of this country, the future of the world’s environment.
All are concerns worthy of our serious attention.
But today? Our most important purpose is honoring what we have.
I would not have become a teacher without her support.
Thank you for 46 years, my beloved Leaves on the Current.