Begin Again

This is from the Ballad of the White Horse:

And this was the might of Alfred, At the ending of the way;

That of such smiters, wise or wild, He was least distant from the child, Piling the stones all day.

For Eldred fought like a frank hunter That killeth and goeth home;

And Mark had fought because all arms Rang like the name of Rome. 

And Colan fought with a double mind, Moody and madly gay;

But Alfred fought as gravely As a good child at play.

He saw wheels break and work run back And all things as they were;

And his heart was orbed like victory And simple like despair.

Therefore is Mark forgotten, That was wise with his tongue and brave;

And the cairn over Colan crumbled, And the cross on Eldred’s grave.

Their great souls went on a wind away, And they have not tale or tomb;

And Alfred born in Wantage Rules England till the doom.

And as a child whose bricks fall down Re-piles them o’er and o’er, Came ruin and the rain that burns, Returning as a wheel returns,

And crouching in the furze and ferns He began his life once more.

That made sense, right?  Or, maybe a little more explanation is needed?

In the Ballad of the White Horse – this massive poem that’s like a whole book – the fundamental key to Alfred’s victory over the heathen Danes is not that he never failed – or never fell – or never did things he regretted with his whole heart.

The reason he is Legend is because he Never Quit

Like a child at the beach or one building a tower with blocks, Alfred got up every time he fell, and started again.  And fell and got up and fell and got up…. And finally conquered.

And so in this already too long email I say simply…

Hopefully, your love life has continued to make incredible progress since the Couple’s getaway, and that you’ve found books that help you on this quest, and that you’ve found inspiration, and most importantly, that you are turning ever closer to the most important person in your life.

But if you’re not, and you haven’t, and life and children, and the Cross have caused you to stumble and fall off of what you’ve begun, then start again.  That’s all.  It’s not complex.  Just very simply begin again.

Look at your spouse like you looked at each other three months ago – and remember why you went on the getaway in the first place.

Your life of Love and Respect for each other is the most important thing in the world, and exactly what we need so desperately now, more than ever.



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