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The Love Gardens

It happens every year - we get bored with winter. Seed catalogs and gardening books start coming in the mail, and we anticipate a time when the weather finally turns sunny and warm.

People start feeling happy and have more energy. Their thoughts turn to love and gardens. I'm sure you have all heard people say that love and plants are very much alike. You must take care of them and nurture them both for them to thrive. Let's explore that analogy, shall we...

Your relationship, just like your garden, must start with a good foundation. Without good rich soil a garden cannot thrive. Some people plant a garden in clay, hoping it will do okay. Unless they plan to do an awful lot of hard work, it won't!

The same can be said of relationships. Commitment is the foundation of a relationship. Without commitment, all the love in the world won't live, just the same as plants can't live without good soil.

If we have the good soil and the commitment, we can "set in" the plants and the relationships that we have. Ah . . . now we can sit ourselves in a couple of deck chairs, prop our feet up, sip on a RC Cola, and watch them take off! Nope! Sorry folks -- your work has just begun!

Our gardens have to be watered! Maybe once a week, sometimes more. The watering in our relationships could be called romance! At least once a week, sometimes more! Now water is great and romance is wonderful; but did you know that both those things are "artificial"?

Yep, water has chemicals at man's institution and romance is polluted with all kinds of stuff! In view of that, our gardens also need the pH balancing of rain and morning dew! Ask yourself, what does a relationship have that could be compared to the rain? That's right. Tears. They cleanse, release tension, heal, nurture AND they are pH balanced!

Well, we have provided a pretty good environment for our gardens and relationships, haven't we? Now let's talk about those peskies. You know, those little (sometimes irritating) things that just have to be done. Like weeding.

Your relationship, just like your garden, must start with a good foundation. Just as we have to weed our gardens so that the plants will not suffocate, we must also weed our relationships of any bad habits we can possibly remedy. Any habit can be overcome because it is a learned behavior and not really a part of the person. It takes time and effort, just like weeding! Did you know that if you pull the weeds long enough, they become discouraged and stop coming back?

In any case, mulch will help keep things looking really nice. Mulch provides your plants with protection. It will hold in the water that your plants need. It helps to keep the weeds at bay. And it helps keep the big, bad mower from coming too close and maybe nicking our tender sprouts!

Just as mulch is the protection for our plants, acceptance is the mulch of our relationships. This protection holds in the romance. It keeps bad habits from becoming huge because we feel accepted. It also keeps any outside influences from coming too close and sabotaging our relationship.

Another pesky is the constant vigil we must keep so that our garden isn't taken over with plant-threatening bugs! Be on the watch for anything that could destroy the plantings or the love we have already cultivated. (Cutworm, jealousy, too much water, too much beer, times of drought, "dry spells", frosts, yeah, frosts).

Well, folks, we are almost there! We have toiled, tilled, weeded, and mulched; and we have been vigilant! There are just one or two things we really should discuss further. The birds and the bees!!! I'm sure you are all thinking, "I know . . . the birds and the bees represent passion in our relationships." Nope! They represent strife!

I have many times heard people say, "Why do we need bees? All they do is sting!" Well, folks, bees pollinate! Without bees and birds, our plants would remain the same year after year and eventually die out. The birds and the bees actually spread the seeds of our labors over a greater area, allowing our plants to grow larger and cover more ground -- to fill in nicely.

Believe it or not, that is what strife does for our relationships! People say, "Why do bad things happen?" This is why. Through strife, we learn to grow and become more grounded in our relationships. After all, you cannot know the pleasure without the pain, the sweet without the sour, or the contentment without the strife.

If you add up all these simple ingredients, you will have wonderful gardens and relationships. They will both bloom into something beautiful -- with fruits and flowers galore! And speaking of flowers -- plants give 'em and love gets 'em!

Now I'm sure some of you are ready to email me with the idea that there are gardens that thrive in drought, shade, and sand, such as rock gardens, shade gardens, and desert gardens. (I imagine a similar parody could be made of their requirements too.)

This is just my take on the analogy that pairs love with plants. I have to admit that some of the above were a real stretch of the imagination. But, on the other hand, what would our gardens and relationships be like without manure -- and lots of it?


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