I came across a quote a few days ago that was simple and true.
“Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care that they get.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Just like flower gardens and gardens of all kinds, the most important relationships in our lives, our marriages and those with our children, reflect the care that is put in. Just as if you over water your seeds, what results is muddiness and sad smothering, your flowers unable to stand tall. If you neglect your dear plants, they shrivel up and become hardened like stones, impenetrable and prickly. It takes a delicate balance and patience and trial and error to see how much care is needed. One does not simply just know. These things require work. They require some sort of balance. They require care that whispers, “I will always be here for you, no matter what.” That deep-rooted foundation of support and love.
As a mother and wife I know what it means to have to work everyday to keep my garden flourishing. There are days that I prune too harshly, leaving me feeling guilty and broken. Whereas there are other days that I seem to get the tending just right. Those days end in laughs before bedtime and popsicles on the porch. they are not everyday moments, but when they do indeed happen they scoot me into the light and remind me of how blessed I am. They reaffirm my ability to mother well and to be a good wife on days that I fall hard, which admittedly is just part and parcel of motherhood.
In all, what I most take away from this quote is that nurturing is the most important. That endless tending to, though not easy nor without its frustrations and woes, is the constant that we need present in our relationships we care most about. Some food for thought.
Photographs taken by our friends at The Shalom Imaginative.