My good friend Kay has been asked to do a reading at her granddaughter’s wedding. She sent me the passage which is from a popular novel called “The Alchemist.”
It’s all about love, of course. Ideal love, romantic love. The belief that “someone in the world awaits you” and that there’s “a twin soul for every person.”
Kay and I have both been married and divorced—and we know a little about love. Ideal love, romantic love, and what happens to love when the honeymoon is over. When the ideal gets real, love can get deeper. It can also disappear.
Which makes me question whether we’re doing young people any favors by perpetuating this romantic view of love, pretending there’s one soul mate for each of us—when the evidence suggests that there might be more than one or maybe none.
I wonder these things but I never wonder them at weddings. Sitting in the audience, I find myself in tears, all caught up in the promise and the possibility. Knowing how short I’ve fallen, I still believe in marriage, still want to do better.
I reach for my husband’s hand—my second husband—and he reaches back. The audience is full of old couples like us who know the truth about soul mates. Who are holding hands.