Life at 32

Of course to me her eyes are the most beautiful and her face the most pleasing. However, outside observers would find that her eyes at first glance are nothing special. They are a normal shade of brown, just like the eyes of several other billion people alive today. And of course, it goes without saying that she has black pupils like I do. Her eyelids are average, even with those tattoos that serve as permanent eyeliner. People would say that she has a normal amount of moisture to her eyes, and when she blinks, it’s at an average rate. By all measures, you’d have to conclude that her eyes are identical to probably half of the entire population, maybe more. 

Her face is mostly symmetric, with smooth skin and the occasional freckle. Her skin color is an ordinary shade of Caucasian. Her teeth are unexceptional, being normal ivory colored and mostly straight. They are not that glaring white that is so prevalent among celebrities nowadays. Overall, people say that she has a common appearance to her face. In fact, so common that strangers frequently come up to her and say, “don’t I know you from somewhere?” or “didn't we go to school together?” or “aren’t we related somehow?”  

Some would say average, common, ordinary, normal, unexceptional. But it all changes when you look deeper.

To see beyond her eyes, beyond her face, beyond her outer appearance, that is where her remarkable and unique beauty lies. That is where you find greater beauty than the Mona Lisa, greater beauty than Marilyn Monroe standing over a subway grate, greater beauty than the Sistine Chapel. Think of the most gorgeous day you’ve ever experienced, or the most breathtaking sunset you’ve seen. Multiply that by infinity and you’ll know what I’m talking about. This is real beauty, the kind that not only touches your soul, but strengthens it. 

For her beauty comes from her confident love, unique in its depth and more solid than the bedrock that supports the tallest skyscrapers. It’s unshakable, unbreakable. You’ll find that she believes in you, not just a little bit, but without reservation. Although never approving of actions that hurt others, her gaze and her words let you know that she sees in you an inner goodness. She inspires you to be and do your very best, in a relaxed and joyous manner. She is confident in you. She knows you can do incredible things that will make the world a better place. She knows these things, and nothing you say, any doubts you may have, will change her confidence in you.

For my part, what have I ever done to deserve being with her? Even on our days apart, I become stronger, more complete, more full of optimism and love because of her. Pleasing to look at, yes, but I also get to experience the full essence of who she is. I experience an inner tranquility that doesn’t come from within myself, but rather is something she gives me. Every day. 

Now, at 32 years of marriage, I know what beautiful is. It’s her.