A relationship is like a garden. It needs care, weeding and attention. Growing and tending a garden involves not only work but also pleasure.
As a couple plants flowers, shrubs and various forms of landscaping in their garden, they share ideas, beauty and creativity. The garden represents the connection and focus each partner is willing and able to give. It also highlights the differences in partners and their abilities. They find out one is better than the other at certain tasks. Their ideas for how the garden should look are sometimes met with approval, questions and disagreement. What is crucial for their relationship and garden is the tone of those ideas and how they are shared.
For instance, when they go to the plant store, one thinks to buy the soil, the other the special fertilizer for the roses. One thinks to buy a new pot, the other an unusual plant. They are sharing and doing, each recognizing the total effect for the garden. The interweaving of their views and perspectives makes the garden grow between them. Then the garden is actually transferred into the ground.
This is a subtle process that speaks to the dedication and the time it takes to make the garden grow. It requires an attentiveness to watch out for weeds encroaching on the new plants. It requires an act of care. This is a couple working together to create a landscape of beauty that both enjoy. The garden can be an expression of their passion in the riot of color, the arrangement of the usual and the ordinary, specifically shaped by this couple.
Yet, like with any garden, we might look at the weeds and remind ourselves to take care of them but then we forget. Other things take over. We become busy. The garden still grows but it gradually begins to struggle if the inattention goes on for too long. Weeds grow higher and higher. Soon their roots are strong and need increasing effort to dig out.
The analogy of this garden with a relationship is quite clear. When we ignore what is in front of us in our relationship, the weeds and irritants take root and become stronger and more offensive. This fact is so obvious, yet we all tend to forget that the daily expressions of love and care, like the daily weeding of our gardens, are the precious soil in which our love grows.