How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese 43
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
One of my first jobs was as a docent at Armstrong Browning Library when we were students at Baylor University. I absolutely loved every room Armstrong Browning Library, which houses the largest collection of Robert and Elizabeth Browning’s papers in the world. As a history geek, it was a job that suited me, since the art of being a good docent is knowing a lot of good stories. Much like the Brownings themselves, the library is a very romantic place, with extravagant stained glass windows depicting scenes from the Brownings’ poetry. While working there, I helped several men plan and execute elaborate proposals for their sweethearts (a perk of being the one who locked up in the evenings).
My husband and I met at Baylor and chose to elope over Spring Break my senior year. That was 18 years ago today. We’ve now been together for 20 years.
I was surprised to learn that his grandmother had also worked at Armstrong Browning Library when his grandparents were students at Baylor.