My dearest wife, it has been such a long winter,
Hard and bitter, draining the heart and soul of hope.
It has been doubly hard for you, so much sadness,
Almost too much to bear, with the illness of friends,
And frozen pipes, and the children’s difficulties,
Such a long catalogue of woes, you look so tired,
New lines of care on your face, and fresh streaks of grey
Staining the golden beauty of your lovely hair.
I am bitterly aware of my shortcomings
As a husband, so often away, leaving you
To cope with the house alone, and worse, so distant
When I was there, preoccupied with my problems,
Barely listening to what you had to tell me.
But worse, my love, has been my thoughtless cruelty,
All too often snapping at you, and the children,
And even rejecting your loving advances,
Pushing you aside, to sob into your pillow,
No longer sure that I even loved you, fearing
I had found another, afraid of losing me.
But now that spring is here, I have made a solemn oath
To turn over a new leaf, and to give to you
All the devotion and love which I have withheld,
And which you so richly deserve, poor recompense
For your constancy and care, and your unswerving
Love and concern for me, which I have so coldly
Ignored in my cruel and heartless selfishness.
Spring is here with its happy promise of new life,
Everywhere we look, new green shoots, the sound of birds
And the hum of bees pollinating the flowers,
Whose bright colours clothe the reawakening earth
With gladness, lifting our hearts in thankful prayer
For all the goodness and delight that are God’s gift,
Simple things, and yet so much more than worldly goods.
The return of light and warmth once more to the world
Has worked its miracle on even my cold soul,
And made me realise what a wonderful gift
I have in you, my long suffering companion,
My faithful wife who has never over the years
Ceased to love and care for me, honouring the vows
You made many years ago, until life shall end.
I have resolved to start afresh, vowing henceforth
To make your happiness my first and my last thought,
To honour, cherish and tenderly care for you,
To respect and encourage your own fulfilment
As a individual, to speak the truth in love,
But first, to listen to all that you have to say,
No longer closing my ears, and shutting you out.
Only this way can I break down the barrier
That has gradually grown up between our hearts.
We are still one, separate personalities,
Yet at the same time, two halves of the same person,
Thinking the same thoughts, and feeling the same feelings,
Two parts of one beating heart, truly united,
Never to be parted, forever one in love,
In a marriage made in heaven, eternally joined.
So let us now celebrate the coming of spring,
Finding a little place where we can be alone,
Free from everyday cares, where nothing can distract,
A cottage by the sea, a place to talk, and laugh,
To find again that wild delight that once we knew,
Running free like children at the dawn of the world,
Singing songs of passion and desire, making love
In the surf without a care, hearts beating as one,
And thus breathe fresh life into our union of souls,
The bright green shoots of new understanding growing
Strong in the sunlight, symbols of rediscovered joy,
And affirmation of the renewal of love.