Did you grow a garden this summer? That is one skill set I have yet to cultivate but always wanted to. Maybe in my next life I can dig in the dirt, plant a seed with that first anticipated sprout and harvest enough flowers and vegetables to fill my table. Sounds divine. I guess I am too busy tilling the soil, weeding, pruning and praying that other gardens in my life might flourish.

A wise woman, from many chapters ago in my life, always compared our primary partnership to that of a garden.

One option is to plant a few seeds and let it go. See where the elements take it. I am guessing it will get overrun to the point that it will be no longer recognizable. Thus, it’ll have to be dug up and begun again, probably with some new shiny promising partner.

Conversely, if our relational garden is to thrive, we’re going to have to attend to it. Constantly. It’s gonna need weeding, watering and trimming on a regular and consistent basis. Laziness, avoidance, inertia and an attitude of “we’ll just see where it goes” are not a garden grow.

I was having an interesting discussion the other day with a friend of why folks change after they marry. One guess is the unconscious thought that once we have planted the garden, agreed to stay within the fenced boundary, we’re all set. No more is necessary. Commitment alone will satisfy all requirements.

Ha. There is no promise of outcome, even in marriage. Results are not guaranteed and gardens don’t thrive on their own.

What the commitment of marriage does mean is that we are agreeing to the process of work. That on a daily basis, we are willing to roll up our sleeves, get our fingers dirty and do our part to beautify and expand the field of “we.”

So, get some sturdy gloves. Prepare for drought and flood. Accept the fact that you have no idea what the end result will look like. But if you are willing and your partner is too, I am betting you will soon enough be the talk of the neighborhood – in a good way, of course.