We have been working on the flower beds this week. My wife has wanted an English garden so now we have two of them. Neither of us like planting flowers in neat little rows so the beautiful chaos of an English garden is fine.
I went to the garden center twice this week, filling up the truck with Salvia, Delphinium, Lavender, Cleome, yarrow, Dianthus, Gaillardia, and others. We have grown our own marigolds and zinnias from seeds that were planted in the greenhouse. It's tough on plants in the heat and humidity of the deep coastal South. But for now, on this cool morning, the gardens look wonderful.
This morning we are getting a bouquet ready for the parents who celebrate their 70 years together. I know those years weren't necessarily all happy. But today, I'm choosing to look on the positive side. I see the photos from their cruises together--both look happy. I look at the Christmas photos of them hugging each other. And I remember that my mother-in-law told me only a few months ago that "I really love that man". Seventy years--more than a lifetime for some. I know that there were some good times during that stretch of years.
Marriage is such a complicated thing, not only from a legal standpoint but from the hype that we buy into about spending time together, having meaningful discussions, sharing finances, staying in sickness and in health. So many expectations that no wonder people freak out when they discover that the person they married isn't all that they had hoped for. Do we ever find anyone who is all that we hoped for? I don't think so. I think that we just accept what we can, and if we can't find anything acceptable then we part.
Not as many people are making the commitment to marry as in years past. I understand the reasoning. With divorce rates being so high, it's a leap of faith to think that you will still love the same person that you married after 20, 50 or 70 years. I can't imagine my life without my wife today, but there have been days when I could easily imagine it. Marriage isn't like the neat little rows in a garden, but has its share of chaos too. If you string together enough good days though, then the occasional bad one or two isn't so hard. We have strung together some good days this week and over our years together. I'm a lucky fellow.