A Garden of Love

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.

Tulips in a park. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Tulips in a park. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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)

40 thoughts on “A Garden of Love

  1. Thanks for the reminder. Since I received no gift or card for Valentine’s Day (or my birthday last week) I am feeling very unappreciated at the moment. I will try to focus on the good things my lover does for me every day and forgive him.


    1. I try to focus on that too. The little kindnesses that are done for me everyday and the love that I can feel in the hugs that are given to me.
      Hope you enjoy the rest of the day.


    2. 😦 My husband and I decided to forgo gifts and cards. We found that it was all too easy to simply patch things up with these guilt-erasing tokens of appreciation.
      🙂 We are now expecting each other to show our appreciation through daily communication and gestures of thanks through mutually helping each other out more often. This is much harder….for the both of us!


      1. Daily communication and gestures take a lot more effort but are certainly worth it in the long run. I find it brings me closer to my husband in that we both make the effort to truly build the relationship.
        Good to see your avatar again Darlene. I have missed seeing you on my space. Welcome back.


  2. Hey Colline, can I drop by for a slice of that cake? Sounds perfectly yummy!

    Totally agree with your synopsis re: Valentines Day and the love we give others. My youngest son said he could not wait until Valentines Day because this was the day he would get some candy and love (emphasis on love). I chuckled. He was sooo cute!

    I told him he would get just a little candy but lots and lots of love. He looked so pleased. Today, I think of that recent conversation with my son and how cute he is and feel thankful that I have such an adorable little one to love.

    You’re right, Colline. It’s not the gifts, chocolate and flowers that make for a special Valentines Day. It’s all about the love. And especially, it’s all about the love we give to others.

    Happy happy Valentines day to a wonderful friend, teacher and mother and send my best Valentines Day wishes and love to your family, too!


    1. You know you are always welcome Darlene 🙂
      Young children are so sweet aren’t they? And all they wish for is lots of love. Give them that – and something chocolaty – and they will be happy and thrive.


  3. Dear Colline
    I agree, dear one. It cannot be about love when it is about having to do this or that, of buying the one or the other with money one does not always have for the one you love. Just like with Jesus, it is a heart thing! I like your ideas for Valentine’s day.
    Blessings XX


  4. Colline, I am feeling your words, I have my wife and also two daughters, one thirty nine and the other will be nineteen next month. I always have spoiled them every day of their lives, and my wife every day of our marriage. I think it comes from seeing how my moms life went. I was so very close to her and knew her loving embrace always! Where she went, she would take me with her, she taught me how to be a very loving man. She taught me how to do all the things men expect women to do and I would do them happily to take the load off of her. She prepared me to spoil my girls and all my girl cousins, and all of my aunts, my grandmother, and my wifes mother, aunts and girl cousins, and nieces on both sides. It is a part of my nature and I enjoy it much. Every day to me is Valentines day, and they know it and appreciate it. I am so happy to read and embrace your message today! I can only say this my sister, thanks for being the selfless mother, wife, sister and friend you are! When you emulate that most important trait of our Lord you will surely be blessed always, while also teaching others to receive and give the blessings when they are shared by them. And here is a wish for you, Happy Valentines day to you, and may the moments share with your family be full of priceless joy, mine always are. Thanks for your visits and the spiritual hugs, and smiles you share in your words…have a wonderful and bless weekend! The Lord himself said the most important thing in our lives is love, its the most valuable gift you can share! P.S. God adopted us into his family, and I have adopted your wonderful spirit to be my sister in Christ! God bless!


    1. I love that your mom raised a man who knows the importance of always showing his love – and in the little ways. Your wife and daughters are blessed to have you in their lives.
      I wish you all a beautiful Valentine’s day filled with one another’s love as well as the love of our Creator.


  5. I applaud this in principle, Colline 🙂 But I like to have inexpensive fun with it too. Thus I bought a cheap card that says exactly what I want it to, and a box of walnut whips- because he would never think to buy them for himself. I bought a cheap bunch of tulips in the loveliest plum/pink for me. I cooked one of his favourites tonight but we went out for tapas last night- an early celebration 🙂
    Happy Valentine’s to you!


    1. Sounds like you have made the day a lot of fun. I love that you have bought him something he wouldn’t think of buying for himself – shows that you know your man 🙂
      And who wouldn’t enjoy the cheeriness of tulips in the home. 🙂


  6. We don’t celebrate days like this because of the commercialism and I am blessed to have days like this every day. Great post and share hon. 😀


  7. Beautifully written expression of what love, gardens, relationships and family are all about. The simple, everyday tasks of watering, nurturing, kindness, spontaneous hugs, laughter and sharing. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Valentine’s, and please save me a piece of cake!


    1. We had a wonderful evening together Phylor – as we always do. We sat around the table eating dinner together and chatting for long moments afterwards. And the cake was yummy 🙂


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