“Out of [this relationship] between man and woman…the first thing to arise is the household…”
Aristotle, Politics

There turned out to be much more going on than we realized, in our love for one another. I fell in love with you, and you fell in love with me—albeit, a little later.

But I didn’t just find myself in love, as though it was simply something that happened to me. I also chose to be in love; though I really didn’t know just what I was choosing—other than that I was choosing you.

We discovered that what could seem just a matter between us was in fact not just between us; there was an invitation, even a demand, to go beyond ourselves.

And then came our children.

So the fuller reality of our own relationship began to be disclosed. Our marriage was by its nature a foundation for a cluster of relationships. We began to discover who we are; and it hasn’t always been easy, or pretty.

Aristotle says that from our relationship as husband and wife there arises a reality greater than either of us and even than our relationship. He calls it a household. To be a household is to stand in relationships, first of all to those within in and also to those outside it–that constantly call me to be something I have not yet become. And this call, as well as this community, keeps arising through our relationship.

I am not sure why I didn’t really see it coming; I should have. Here we are now in the middle of a community that stretches and re-stretches every fiber of our being. And while it transcends us, it is yet ours.

How could I begin to express my gratitude for such a plan, written into our own relationship?

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), student of Plato, tutor of Alexander the Great, has been considered by many to be the greatest ancient philosopher. The Politics is his major political work, in which he includes a consideration of the household.

Image: my wife’s maternal grandparents, in Ukraine, with their first daughter

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