Milestone: 20 years of marriage! A celebration of course, but also a place of reflection. Wondering how many times our hands have reached across thin air and met in the middle? How many times words have gone unspoken but still understood? How many of those words were encouraging and how many were not? How we have been shaped by years of living under the same roof? Have we started to resemble each other in our thinking and being? or is this middle time shaking out a new awareness of each other as separate people, learning to appreciate how we are like different pieces of a puzzle that fit together to make a more complete picture? It’s impossible to make it to such a milestone with nothing but Pollyanna moments. Twenty years are as rich as the finest compost, a layering of experiences and moments, filled with all the nutrients a fine marriage could need. Good times, yes – moments so sacred and filled with gratitude to leave one breathless. but also refining moments of stress and pressure that test the true metal of a marriage. It takes far more than star twinkled eyes of infatuated love to keep the crops growing. Real life and kids and housework and jobs and wear and tear can leach the life from the soil of a marriage. But I know well, the dark richness of those layers of compost committment – sifting the warm, crumbly soil in my hands, knowing that inside that sweet brown richness is life and strength and everything that is needed to grow beauty. Star crossed gazes become sustenance and hard won blooms. A garden of the heart. Twenty Years.
Photographs were taken at the Olbrich Botanical Garden in Madison, Wisconsin.