June 10, 2019

How to Nourish your Love into Full Bloom.


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My love, I am writing to you as I sip dandelion tea and wrap my favorite soft blue scarf around my shoulders.

Ah, there’s a slight chill in the air tonight. I shiver and appreciate the coziness of the warm mug in my hands.

And I smile so broadly as I think of you. Gosh, I even giggle a little. Don’t ask me why, but I feel inspired to skip around and lick the air with my tongue.

I am writing to you because our love is growing. It’s revealing itself more fully.

I’m astounded. I really am. I have to sit back and take snapshots in my mind. That’s the reason for this letter.

See, my heart was bitter for a long time. She felt walked on, used and abused by the way others had treated her. But she is inviting you in, more and more. You make it so easy—with your kind eyes, calm smile, and the devoted care resounding in your melodic voice. You encourage me in a million ways to be more real, more myself.

You make me realize how beautiful life can be—in the healing, in the awesome realization that I am not broken or unlovable after all.

It feels so freakin’ wonderful.

And I want you to know how much it means to me; I want you to feel the ways our story drapes itself in my mind like the sweetest honeysuckle vines.

Last week, we took a few days off work. We planted a garden together—a mighty fine garden, if I do say so myself.

Oh my love, we dug deep into the soil with our fingers—damn, our poor fingers—for they quickly became red and calloused from our efforts.

We sweat vigorously in the noonday sun—salty drops running down our backs and chins, occasionally landing into our mouths with an oddly satisfying splash!

And how we laughed. Yes, we bickered a little bit, too. We both got bossy in moments (especially me).

But we kissed passionately in the shade during the radiance of our breaks—seeing what we had done, how well we worked together, and how much we had left to do.

As we moved the thick soil through our hands, the clay-like consistency felt so good.

But really, my love—it felt so good to do this with you.

The corners of our mouths were turned upward throughout the whole process:

So much joy.

Because it’s not that you complete me—it’s that you bring me complete and utter joy. I feel it tingling from my head to my toes, like the fizziness of champagne bubbling through my veins.

Oh yes. You bring out my silly side, my wild side, my fiery side, my real side.

I need that so badly. I may seem carefree on the surface, but I can get sulky and take life too seriously sometimes. I can get lost in the details of my fast-moving, anxious thought-trains and forget to enjoy the full lusciousness of the big picture.

You help me slow down and smell the roses, as they say.

And my darling, I loved how our bodies became utterly exhausted at night as we fell into glorious slumber, arms wrapped tightly around each other. Aching muscles, but happy hearts—that was the rhythm of our days. What a welcome rhythm it was. We even danced in our dreams, I swear.

We planted a garden together. It feels symbolic, doesn’t it?

It feels like paving the road for the future as we pulled out the old, moldy leaves that lurked mysteriously in the undergrowth, carving out a careful space for new seeds.

It felt backbreaking at times, exhausting and overwhelming. Like life.

But I loved the way I felt close to you.

Sometimes, we fell silent—utterly enamored with the torn-up ground, so rich beneath us, revealing its chocolate lava center as we tilled and raked. And raked and tilled. Wow, it was a lot more work than we thought. I’m grateful we were naive about this process.

But I adore the images that dance into my mind as I fondly recall our time…

The earth beneath us, holding us. Me, getting bitten by the ants that crawled on my sandals; realizing I really shouldn’t have worn sandals at all. Deep breaths of lush spring air. Falling into your arms, our bodies both warm and covered in sweat. Us, laughing so loudly. Waving hearty hellos to cars passing by.

I don’t know if I’ve ever been so happy.

That’s it.

I felt a deep sweetness I haven’t really experienced before. This sense of home, of connection—to myself, to you, to the world.

I finally felt like I belonged. That’s been an elusive feeling for me, that’s for sure.

And I enjoyed how we included some neighbors in our gardening project. In the past, I would have felt closed-off to other people wanting to help. I would have needed it to be only ours. But it felt amazing and expansive to share the experience.

Love is like this, too—our love is not just our own. It is for everyone.  

It’s powerful to remember that.

To give our love to others, rather than lock it away for our own glory.

And as for us, my dear—well, we spent nearly a week digging in the earth, and we fell even harder for each other.

It feels sweet to be drawn closer through what we created.

We can watch our efforts sprout and grow for the rest of the summer. We can watch the fresh shoots of our love sprout and grow, too.

We started a garden together.

‘Cause I adore what happens when we are really present, when we don’t spend our days watching television or numbly distracted by our work, but deeply engaged with another heart. How nourishing. How freeing. How utterly enlivening.

So there is no grand conclusion here, in these words of mine. There is no pithy one liner. There is nothing earth-shattering to uncover, my love.

But there is us.

And I see that so clearly.

There is my heart, beating joyously, next to yours. There we are, our lips embracing wildly while the plants shoot up from the fertile darkness and dance with the sun.

That’s all I need.

So if our love is a garden, which I believe it to be—

It’s all about how we tend to it.

What we plant. How well we water it. How much we sing to it and appreciate it dearly.

Love, like a garden, gives us nothing—if we do not give to it, too.

If we do not respect it and nourish it as often as it needs. If we are not gentle with the tender, new leaves. If we are not excited by every colorful bud.

But I know we will be.

Anticipation swells hot in the sun; it expands with our hungry inhales.

If our love is a garden, let us enjoy the jeweled splendor of it…for the rest of our lives!

There is shade. There is sun. There’s basil, chives, wildflowers, lettuce, Swiss chard, and parsley.

There is hope.

There is you and me, sitting on the front porch, relishing in the glory of our efforts, laughing hysterically at our dumb jokes.

But we got down and dirty on our hands and knees—and we made something real. No shortcuts. Only delicious longcuts with our calloused fingers intertwined.

And I like how we both said: “Anyone who’s planning to get married should plant a garden together.” Because love is the beauty we make together. And damn, I love the beauty we make together.

But wait…my dear, there’s one more thing. I almost left this part out, but as you know, I’m not so good at holding back…

There will always be that little hint of mystery, because even though we planted a ton of sh*t and we’ll happily nourish the heck out of it—we don’t know what will grow prolifically and what might wither.

We can only do so much—then we must step back and see what happens. But we do ourselves no favors by shrinking away in fear. By not trying.

Love is like that, too.

It demands a leap. A surrender of grateful magnitude.

And a curious, courageous heart—ready to behold what blooms.


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