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Marriage: A Castle Built for Two

 Castle: a fortified, permanently garrisoned stronghold.
You know how you stare at the inside of your fridge expecting something new to appear or the contents to rearrange themselves into a casserole? That’s me, gaping at an English tube map, bus schedule, or train station reader board. If it weren’t for the fact that our daughter inherited her father’s GPS genes, I would not have gone 150 miles from London to Shropshire without Dale; I am discombobulated too easily without him. Hannah however, navigated with aplomb - all over medieval Ludlow.

Walled in by Tudor and Elizabethan architecture on every cobbled lane, it is easy to imagine villagers pulling carts and noblemen steering horses through the mayhem of ancient Ludlow. The surreal was strongest at Ludlow Castle, whose ruins lord over a winding river and rolling green countryside.

The vista from the castle embankment is so picturesque, you would swear a master landscaper had designed it to the last hedge, grove, and cottage roof. A long line of royals had defended Ludlow Castle since 1066 and as we wandered through its stone rooms, stairwells, and turrets, I began to muse how a marriage is "like unto" a castle...

“The castle has a double nature; it is both a home and a fortress...(It is) this double nature which makes the castle so different from dwellings and fortification of other periods...

●One of the things that makes castles interesting is that they are all different. Primarily this is because they were built by men of differing ranks, at different times in different regions...
●This is what makes castles so interesting, that they are both so variable and yet are built according to certain clear principles...

●No castle ever stood in isolation. It was always part of a community. Indeed, there were two communities: the one within the castle, the other surrounding it and forming its milieu...

●A castle may exist inside a town but must be able to be cut off by the closing of a gate or the raising of a drawbridge."
(The Medieval Castle In England And Wales, by N. J. G. Pounds) 

Shropshire exhilarated and exhausted me. Back at Reading station, we dodged the crowds and dragged our luggage; it was all too much: sensory, physical overload. Stepping onto the crowded down-escalator, I crumbled emotionally.

And then – through all the moving bodies on the floor below – I saw him: towering over the commotion; his face full of calm anticipation, riveted on mine: so solid, so sure, so still. I melted the instant I reached him. My honey is a big man, and his arms supported as much as comforted his lady-in-distress. As he kissed me I began to cry.

Here, I thought, is my fortress and defense.

HERE is my very own castle.

 
“Love in marriage not only serves to seal up a man and a woman in a valid union, it seals out everything and everyone alien to that union.” - Rodney Turner

CLIMB TO THE TOP OF LUDLOW CASTLE
with our daughter, Lady Hannah...ya gotta go all the way!


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Mona is happily home (Washington state) after 13 months incredible months in England and Europe. She muses every Sunday at Mona's Gospel Musings and preaches romance in marriage at Mona's Musings with a Hint of Romance. She is the mother of four plus three and grandmother of two and the award-winning author or With Mine Own Hand: The Musical Account of Nephi. For a daily Hint of Romance, go to Mona's Musings on Facebook.

Photos by Mona and video by Hannah





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