Tuesday, August 17

A Different Kind of Container Garden

A Container Garden for Marriage
Another weekend of saying goodbye to a beloved sister-in-law.  We were once seven strong and are now down to two... And then, it was the annual weekend for the family reunion that has been taking place since 1926... the older generations go (I'm one of them, now) and the young begin to replace... it's the natural order of things but hard to bear the passing... Watching the intertwining of their lives, all I could think of was what I had written several years ago in response to a woman asking what container gardening could possibly have to do with love... I know it was the influence of watching these families living their lives in love that inspired my words...

To build your own container garden, you will need the following:
one large container of choice, capable of holding husband, wife, and any new shoots, and a bottom foundation layer of sharp-edged stones to allow free release of frustrations and tears during growth periods. To bring your container garden for marriage to full bloom, careful layering of the soil and daily attention is required. Layer the following ingredients, in equal shares of 90% from both husband and wife, as life unfolds:

Interest, to learn how to care for each other.

Openness, to reveal yourself through the circle of family, friends, and associates that have influenced you.

Empathy, to feel the pain of your loved one and release your compassion.

Understanding, to remind you that we grow through change and need to be there for each other without patronizing or micro-managing.

Courtesy, to remember to always treat each other with the same respect we show perfect strangers.

Forgiveness, to make it through each and every day, as you learn to adjust and grow with each other.

Humility, to never take for granted the opportunity you've been given to share your life and love with another human being.

Privacy, to remind you that we as individuals need personal space to reflect and adjust to the changes taking place as new shoots demand room in our container.

Love in at least four phases: friendship, to give us a lifetime companion; erotic, to enjoy the blessings of our union; platonic, to carry us through the trying times; and agape, to fill us with unconditional love.With careful pruning and daily care, your marital container garden will help you grow into more loving companions to the end of your golden years, where the frustrations are endearing traits, the tears are tears of joy, and the rocky foundation is a smooth bed of stones supporting a bountiful love-filled life.
Margaret, I will miss you.      

All photos free from istockphoto.com    

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