Forty years of marriage! We took a trip to see our daughter on Hayling Island, driving via the New Forest. On the way we stopped off to view the Knightwood Oak, the oldest oak tree in the forest. At over 600 years old, it was 100 years of age when King Henry VIII rode by hunting deer. The tree is more than 25 feet in diameter and plays home to dozens of different species. It was pollarded when young. This is a process by which the main stem is cut to force the growth of side branches. The value of this is that the side branches can be harvested for wood without killing the tree. Pollarding in the New Forest was outlawed in 1698 because of concern that too few really tall trees were available to provide the wood for sailing ships. With the demise of wooden ships, pollarding has returned.
Alongside the massive oak, a sapling was planted in 1979. It is barely 5 feet tall. As we looked at the huge tree, our 40 years paled into insignificance.
In cricket, after a batsman has scored 100 runs, he is supposed to take a new guard, reset his concentration for the next 100. We have settled in for the next 40 years.