While walking the wooded hills and hollows this morning, before the sun had risen, the trees took on quite human forms. This, as it has in the past, confirmed in me that a traveler's principle fears are found in the human aspects of nature (as Chesterton so wisely suggested). The thought did occur to me that, though the morning light would strip them of their humanity, the trees' continued struggle for life seems to match that of man's much closer than the plight of the deer in the forest. Modern man may be less in danger of the wolf and much more in danger of age and insidious creepy crawlies beneath the bark. We fear the night less these days and more the morning whose light will reveal the brown spots upon our leaves. I could probably take the metaphor too far and really it was only a passing fancy. For, another thought soon displaced it as the trail twisted before me.
Is not the English language missing the most obvious of words? Such a blaring omission cannot stand and yet it has until now. I can only speak for English, for I have little doubt that other languages which people use to communicate in this P.B.* world could not fail to have its equivalent.
I tripped over this pearl of great price while looking up into the bows of a nearby tree in which a pair of cardinals perched, the male blazingly red and the lady gentle and refined in her soft brown coat. A lovely pair they were, but their blissful state of birdly matrimony, however, led thusely to my consternation.
Marriage is, without a doubt, a unity, not, however, without its parts. The first one being husbandry and the second…well, drat it all, there is a second, but we don't have a word for it! If the very criminal act of thieving can be given such an honor as to have its action nounenized with "thievery" how has "wife" ever been neglected. The most lovely of concepts going untouched by the human tongue and pen! Let me then be the first to write it: "wifery."
A definition, I think, would be appropriate (a necessary component for its future inclusion in my spell check). It would be stated thus: "Gracefully receiving the worth attributed with natural flourishing."
Let me use it in a sentence: Marriage husbandry finds it greatest fulfillment in Marriage wifery. Very tidy.
Before going on, I know some will object to the use of husbandry in this manner, seeing as how it is not exactly the dictionary usage of the word. However, it is a great distance between having a word to be able to miss-use (and be understood) and not even having a word to miss-use. Hencely, the newly christened word "wifery" and its hence stated definition.
Now may I move to an example of its very practicality in the living of life and the sacred institutions therein?
In the course of walking around on the earth one chances to meet all kinds of people with all kinds of stories. Why, just this week I happened upon a fellow who gave me a firsthand account of his physical birth. In fact, this Dr. W.H. indicated this was not the least of his amazing memories!
I have also had the chance to make the acquaintance of another wonderful chap, a certain Mr. B.G. He is of advanced years and his life stories go on and on. We have talked of his time as a professional athlete, his wild successes as an entrepreneur, his many celebrity acquaintances, his recovery from battle wounds at Versailles, and his breadth of other experiences including our shared love for the beauty of the Flint Hills. However, the most touching moments and the ones that really stick with me were his tearful accounts of his wife, Grey. Years have passed since her death after dementia, but the dreams still come with heart wrenching awakenings that she, in her beauty, does not stand before him. He tells of his meeting her in middle age and being absolutely captivated. They raised a family of four children while her radiance and beauty ever grew before him. She was absolutely singular in his mind in companionship and loveliness of spirit. He would not fail to leave her side and he could not stand that she had to leave him first. He poured out a fortune in her care and honor as her mind left and he became a stranger. She did not change, however, he knew. It was only an outward feint. Grey, his love, will be the more beautiful when they meet again.
It is upon their case that I state my case for husbandry and wifery.
Let us be clear, the planter of the first garden who gave husbandry its weight and purpose in the same way made provision for the stunning beauty of wifery. The care and cultivation (if it is present) must find its reflection. As with garden husbandry, He who plants and he who waters has not the slightest power to make it grow. A response to ever increase in radiance is wifery!
With the sun shining on the lawn
Roeland Park, KS