Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Breathe {inspiration for wednesdays}

I am four days away from my 18th wedding anniversary. As I look back, I am not sure who let us get married (because we were still such babies), but I am grateful for the adventure we've been on. There are definitely parts that I wouldn't want to have lived without, but I don't want to live through them again...and there are moments that I wish I could just sit in forever. But both those attitudes are half-truths (and thus, half-lies) because pain will come again and I must not resist it and pleasure will appear and I must not grab for it. I must do the work of marriage in whatever moment at hand.

I think there are seasons to marriage...

1. Season of Delight - Picture that scene from a movie located in a beautiful golden, sun-filled field. The grasses and flowers are waist high and a light wind is blowing. The gaze of two lovers meet across the field and they run (ever so gracefully and in slow motion) into each others arms. They are enveloped by the rapture of love and nothing else matters. The beautiful field and weather only points back to these two.

2. Season of Work (or shall we say pain??) - At some point these two lovers come out of their myopic embrace and realize that the golden sun has taken its toll on the field. The grasses are totally dried up, the flowers have withered and there are storm clouds on the horizon. They realize that the field actually belongs to them - that they are responsible for it - and there are two pairs of boots and twin shovels waiting for them.

This is the hard work of marriage. What the lovers once saw as flowers, they now realize are weeds. The once chaotic beauty of the overgrowth now seems a mirage as they stand with shovels in hand (and mouths dropped open in stunned resignation) and realize how much work is needed to turn this field into a garden. There will be rain...there will be blisters...there will be getting stuck in the mud...there will be cold...there will be battles against one another...there will be battles inside of themselves...there will be glancing into nearby fields and questioning why they keep at it. At times there will be a lot of tilling and planting only to see the the fruit of their labor wither and die.

In spite of all this (or maybe because of it) is all worth it.

3. Season of Fruit - Yes, much energy has been expended...yes, much time has passed...yes, they are different people from when they started...and yes, they have watched many things just die. However, at some point (and you never can be quite sure when) a proverbial Spring unfolds and those seeds long forgotten or thought dead, spring to life! New flora now grow in that once wild, unkept field. And the difference is that this emergence is a garden that nourishes and feeds both the lovers and others. Fruit now grows where grass once reigned supreme; it satisfies appetites where a meadow once left us starving. The produce of the labor tastes especially sweet because of the labor and the lovers are happy to share generously in abundance because they have known times of near starvation.

The fruit from this garden - though it looks like the delight of the first season - is actually something quite different. It is mature; it is seasoned; it is cultivated; it is ripe; It is JOY!

(all images copyright of Red Thread Photo)


Lisa Lombardo said...

I love this series that you do every week, and this, by far, is my favorite. Amazingly wonderful....Thank you.

Erin McFarland said...

Happy Anniversary Tara! I loved what you had to say in this post... I love gleaning from the wisdom you have acquired through living life and walking with the Lord! You and Dave are awesome!