Of marriage, hearth, and home

It isn’t very often I come out of a dream with an insight that has me going “Oh, wow.” but I did tonight.

I fairly vaguely remember most of my dream, but like usual, it was like a movie that held snippets of something like my life and that at different times, I was taking part in.

The last bit, though, was a discussion in a college literature class, and that’s what solidified the insight for me. Apparently, the earlier part of my dream was a book (or maybe a movie based on a book?) that the class was now discussing.

One of the things that struck the class (led carefully to this by the prof, of course) and struck me in particular, about various parts of Part A of my dream (for lack of better term) was that throughout, the family featured revolved around what they thought were rooms of their physical home. At times like Christmas morning, the center was the living room with the hearth and the tree. Many other times it was the kitchen. The conclusion the class was led to was that really, at various times, the center around which they revolved was made of different people.

I was thinking about my family when I came awake, and the biggest conclusion I came to was that at its core, an ideal marriage is the center around which a family revolves—in many ways, literally its sun.

An ideal marriage is the center around which a family revolves—in many ways, literally its sun.

I kind of remember (perhaps through the rose-colored glasses I habitually wear augmented by the even more vermilion lenses of looking back to a fairly happy childhood) that my parents’ marriage was like that early on. Still half dreaming, in my memory, I definitely felt the warmth emanating from my parents as a unit. Granted, this was about pre-7 or so.

The point moved from there to have me realize that in a truly ideal marriage, that feeling for the children never goes away, though it may dim and lose its all-encompassing importance, especially as children move on to form their own families. It still provides the warmth, perhaps like a central bonfire in a camp with many campfires. The fire you’re closest to provides the most warmth, but the light and the knowledge of the warmth of the bonfire is still there, still held close.

With that meaning of marriage, to me, gay marriages strengthen the marriages of all of the hetero couples. Each and every marriage entered into with truly loving intentions to stick it out through the long haul and make things work does, if only to provide another little campfire to provide warmth and light to all.

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