Two cups of coffee
one in each hand, calling out
"It's my fault we're late"
I've been losing myself deep down in metaphors of growing things recently, as I've taken up the position of a resident young person at a local greenhouse, writing emails and looking at crop schedules. I came across this quote on a quiet morning, and its plain words stood carefully before me; "Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get."
It has always been important to me to decipher the kind of care people have received in their lives. This information helps me understand my relationship with them, and provide context for the meaning behind our interactions. Are they scratchy and harder to the touch? I must learn how to make up for the lack of someone else's care. Are they generous and spiritual and radiating in nature? I want to know about the people who have nourished this person. I hold my dad's childhood stories, that recently have been flooding out as if from a faucet, as a compass up against the man I know him as and have known him as. We all could use a little information like this.
Every day I get to the nursery, a new flower has opened. New colors, fragrances and textures sit peacefully on beds, and I like a child, react as a sightseer. The growing process can be harsh and unforgiving, requiring a lot of trial and error, prior knowledge, and the help of many. Some plants require pinching, cutting back, spacing and the like--for if this is neglected they will remain their immature size, and worse, the roots won't fully develop. How lovely! How similar we are. I am convinced these very normal living things share our characteristics for our own better understanding of ourselves.
It is apparent to me that by going about daily life, I have been caring for my marriage for almost five years. Truly, I think it is one of the most pleasurable, difficult, important and significant things I have done in my life. I am the most proud of it because it's the thing I've cared for most. But on busy mornings flying out the door, you can forget that your marriage is a garden. You may lie in bed longer than you should have, forgotten to budget time for the dog and his habits, and time for you and your caffeine habits too. I am so thankful that marriages with well-formed roots can tolerate a neglectful morning or two.