twenty years

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.

And because I have children to cultivate – this is why i’m unplugging this summer.  I will not be on-line the rest of the summer except for shop updates and email.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Such beautiful pictures! Happy anniversary. I don’t know if we’ll make it that long: just discovered a wasp nest by one of the windows and my husband thinks that he can remove it himself. Is it bad that my first thought was ‘I wish the video camera was working so that I can record that’…

    Have a great summer.

  2. happy anniversary! you are so lucky to have found someone to share your life with and start a family — i hope to one day experience it myself.

    how wonderful to unplug — i think it’s a wonderful idea, but will miss your words. we must continue discussing our next meet up! xo.

  3. Anna says:

    Congrats on 20 years! That’s quite an accomplishment. Steve and I will be hitting 18 this year. When I look back I think there is quite a bit of luck intertwined with that hard work that has enabled us to grow in the same direction at the same speed.

    I’ll miss you this summer – but I think it’s a marvelous thing to do. I often think I need to somehow break my tie with my computer.

  4. amyks says:

    Happy Anniversary! Enjoy your summer. I am sure that it will be busy even without the blogging. I will miss your lovely thoughts, but am sure that you will be creating wonderful memories in their place. 🙂

  5. sara says:

    we’ll miss you! have a lovely long vacation…

  6. ellen kelley says:

    I love this. A marriage is like a tapestry, a work of art…a piece of cloth that sometimes has holes in it. At times it is discordant and the colors jar with each other; and then, miracle of miracles, it is whole and strong, the colors of the warp and weft blend so beautifully and the fabric is so strong that you are taken aback by its strength and wonderfulness. Two sets of hands do the weaving. Two sets of hands mend the holes and secure the intention of the creation. It is a wonder in and of itself and it is a blessing to have those two sets of hands leaning toward the wanting and the needing to weave the cloth of a woman and a man and the glory of children. Many sets of hands lend themselves to the process; we each hold our own pattern, but we each seek to bring it whole and good and strong; warmth without smothering, light without burn and strength in the recognition that each thread counts and is as strong, vibrant and welcomed as the next.
    (Whew, I am going to miss you ten thousand fold.)

  7. ellen kelley says:

    Oh, piss…I know you had a happy, happy anniversary. Best wishes to you both and to all of you.
    I am off to get the eggs…it is STILL RAINING and may I say, “HELL and DAMNATION and S#*T…and yes, I lit another fire in the woodstove because, DAMN, this is OREGON, western parts in JUNE, for crying outLOUD.
    Love and kisses the old lady.

  8. Leslie says:

    Aw, how wonderful! I hope your trip was fabulous…your photos definitely are! And I hope you enjoy all the time with your kids this summer and that you succeed in your plan to stay unplugged!

  9. roz says:

    Congtats! Great photos, I love your eye for detail

  10. gonzomama says:


    beautiful words. and so true.
    we hit our 8 yr on the 8th. and we had 7 before that.

    enjoy your summer! see you on your return.

  11. kristin says:

    what a wonderful inspired post. congrats to you and your man. 20 yrs is a huge deal.

  12. molly says:

    “a garden of the heart” – beautiful. happy anniversary and enjoy your summer off line! ~molly

  13. Angie says:

    Happy Anniversary. I hope your days away from the internet are wonderful ones spent with those you love. =) I love the pictures. So beautiful.

  14. Patricia says:

    I think you’ve found just the right metaphor in *ahem* compost for what we create in a marriage. Sometimes there are tiny, quiet moments when I see my husband up close, and I think how could I possibly love any human being more than I love him. And then there are those other moments, the loud ones involving kids and schedules and keeping the chaos controlled, when I could swear we’re working at cross-purposes. But you’re right that all of it makes for richness.

    You captured the Olbrich Gardens beautifully. I’m so glad you had the time to see it while you were in Madison.

    And I can’t wait for the fall when you’ll be back with more words and images.

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