Madly in love, I married in 1984. My husband was the focus of my life. Although I had lived and worked in Manhattan since I was sixteen, I was a naïve young woman tightly knit with my family. Falling in love changed everything for me. It made sense to give myself to it and to him.
We began what was a wonderful life together, but events happen in such a long marriage, and life experiences change us. We had grown and supported one another through my sister’s suicide, our parents’ deaths, and my husband’s two battles with cancer. We raised two amazing daughters, and yet for us the journey together came to a close. I had grown up, and I wanted independence.
We grew apart because our individual passions became an undeniable need for change. The years shifted our love into loyalty, compassion, and deep friendship. My drive became my health and wellness business. I longed to be out in the world sharing my passion for real food, the environment, my love of silence, yoga, and the home. Our lives grew apart in love and understanding.
Most surprising was what happened next. I fell in love again with an extraordinary man I had met years before. Now I was separated; starting a new company, Mariel’s Kitchen (a whole food company), writing a cookbook (Mariel’s Kitchen), and promoting my second book, Healthy Living from the Inside Out.
It just so happened he had started many food and green companies in his career. It wasn’t what brought us together, but it was a topic of conversation that led us to a greater connection. Before dating we attended a ten-day healing retreat, where we made salad, bought locally grown berries and peaches in season, and I made crumbles and parfaits to include in my new cookbook recipes. We shared stories of past adventures. We grew closer. His understanding of the importance of a slow and peaceful life was intoxicating to me. I had spent years juggling kids, school, and caring for someone not well, and his vision and appreciation for a calmer life enthralled me. There was an intimacy to our getting to know one another that was magical.
It is an amazing experience to get to truly know someone in the middle of my life. There is something wonderful about becoming so close and intimate with him through the world we experienced apart and what we now share together. There is an understanding that we are in a place of total comfort with one another. We fell in love in the aisles of farmers markets, in front of bowls of salads filled with cooked and raw greens and colorful veggies (cut just so) and the best olive oil and Meyer lemon dressing. We are in love as mature adults without knowing if we can move into the world together, but knowing that our love holds an anchor of two lives well lived, and two lives that can go on individually.
I have been lucky enough in my life to find love twice. The journey continues, but this is what I have learned so far…
- Love changes. We cannot be afraid to let it run its course.
- We change. Holding on to the past out of fear makes everyone unhappy. Being honest is not being selfish.
- When you are true to yourself and your needs, love will find you. When we sacrifice our integrity and intention for another, love will remain elusive.
- Love needs to be honored in the moment and cherished. We can never take it for granted. Celebrate love with all your might.
- My love is simpler now. It is a love that holds no strings and wants nothing from another except an acceptance of who I am now.
- Love is a place of solace and peace. It holds a tenderness of spirit that supports my independence. Love holds no judgment, no fear, and wants nothing from me but more love.
Don’t miss Mariel’s book “Mariel Kitchen – Simple Ingredients for a Delicious and Satisfying Life.” Filled with exciting, beautiful photographs and easy-to-follow instructions, Mariel’s Kitchen includes seventy-five sensational recipes that can be mastered by anyone, regardless of cooking experience. Arranged according to the seasons, these recipes show how simple it can be to put locally grown, seasonal produce on your table in place of packaged and processed foods. From sublime summer breakfasts to delectable desserts and heartwarming winter dinners, these tasty dishes, snacks, salad dressings, marinades, and drink recipes put homemade eating back into easy reach.