June 23, 2013

Love like the Ocean.

I believe that love is like the ocean.

When I was a kid, going to Sunday School, we sang this song about having love like an ocean; I always thought it was corny. As I’ve grown up and have loved and been loved in so many different ways; been broken by it, restored by it and shaped indelibly by its coming and going, I’d have to agree: love is like the ocean.

It isn’t static; it ebbs and flows, sometimes in ways we can’t predict or explain.

It isn’t always a smooth ride, and it isn’t usually something we can contain or control.

It is the most vast and powerful force on our planet.

Sometimes the tide seems so far out and we feel like we’re just walking on broken shells amidst the tidal pools. Sometimes it’s calm, steady—giving us an even keel to bring our boats to shore. Sometimes it swells so high we think we’ll be overwhelmed and drown in it.

But love, like the ocean, always comes back.

There are many inspiring love stories, both sweet and tinged with sadness, but I think this is my new favorite.

Cynthia Riggs and Howard Attebery got married this May at 81 and 91, respectively—after 62 years apart. They met in 1950, while working together in the lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. As they worked, their friendship grew and they began passing messages to each other by cryptogram. Then, the summer ended. Cynthia went back to school in Ohio. They went their separate ways, and moved on with their lives.

Then, in January 2012, Cynthia received an unexpected package in the mail:


I don’t believe in fairy tale love. One soul mate for life? Well, the jury’s out on that one too. 

But I believe in love like the ocean. It might show up in different ways; it might be a rough ride sometimes; it might take 62 years, but love is like the tide—it always returns to shore.


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