I am among those who admire well-kept gardens: the manicured lawns, the flowerbeds, the shady trees. On spring days I enjoy the beauty of flowers; on summer days I enjoy the whisper of trees and the buzz of insects. As I take pleasure in both private and public gardens, I do not think about the labour of many hands as they turn the soil, mow the lawns, water the beds.
I think of love as a well-kept garden: it requires care and time to flourish. Like a garden, love thrives when showered with time and attention. If ignored, it withers and dies leaving behind bitterness and sometimes hate. Today is Valentine’s day and many will go out and buy chocolates, flowers and cards for the one person they love best. It is a day when boyfriends, and even girlfriends, are expected to show their feelings for one another though the gifts that they buy. Husbands and wives,too, are expected to buy that special something to show that they still love one another.
On this day that is commercially driven, the consumer forgets that love is not shown through candy and flowers. Instead it is shown through daily love and care to the people closest to you: lover, friend, spouse, parents, children. Love is shown through the tender words that are spoken during the day. The hugs, the smiles. The making of sandwiches for lunch, the buying of a small trinket during the year. Love is worked on each and every day like a garden that is tended to over many days and months. Love flourishes and blossoms with small attentions; and not from gifts of chocolate and red roses.
I am lucky enough to live with people who love me as much as I love them. Our relationship is watered each day. On this Valentine’s day I will show them my daily love without giving into the commercialism of the day. I shall take the time to bake a chocolate cake filled with chocolate chips and topped with cream. I shall prepare a favourite dinner and bring home a bottle of wine to share. On this day I shall continue to care for the garden of love that I have. On this day I shall rejoice in its blessing.
What are you doing with your loved ones this Valentine’s day?
(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: Garden)