The Garden as a Metaphor for Love & Relationships

The Garden as a Metaphor for Love and Relationships

One of my friends is preparing for marriage, so in honor of a party we had for her where we presented her with a marriage basket, I got inspired to write about the garden as a metaphor for love and relationships.  I’ve been thinking about writing down my thoughts about this subject for many years, and this turned out to be the right time where I felt inspired enough to sit down and work out my thoughts.

“Real love, when it comes,
is like a siren’s call.
One simply has no choice,
One must surrender.”

What comes then after that sweet surrender? After those early days of bliss and elation when we believe our love will sustain itself forever?  What happens when the fire from the initial passion settles down to a more constant flame, and two people decide to devote their lives to a common dream and set out to chart their course of commitment to one another for years to come? I like to look at the garden as a metaphor for human relationships. It contains many a lesson to contemplate in its inspiration.  I would like to share my thoughts with you about the garden.

To keep love alive, vibrant and growing in a relationship, it needs much tending. Like a garden, in the springtime, we first sow the seeds of our love with optimistic intentions and an excited expectancy for the future. Daily, when we walk together in our garden of love, we tune in mindfully to the other so we can be ready to respond to each other’s needs to keep the relationship happy and growing in a healthy way.  We are resolute in our belief and faith that if we provide our garden, or our relationship, with what it needs, that it will grow and flourish naturally, and it will overcome any setback or obstacle in its path.  We dream about our future relationship together like we dream about our colourful garden landscape and how it will evolve over time.

A thriving love needs constant nourishment just like a garden. We fertilize it, mulch it, keep it well fed and moist with the daily gestures of affection, attention, appreciation, and acceptance. The optimal soil in our garden is full of the life nourishing organisms necessary for healthy and abundant growth.  The most fulfilling relationships are also built on a solid foundation of shared values and interests that can serve as common bonds to bridge the gaps that can occur between couples from time to time.  Such challenges are really blessings in disguise which can inspire more growth and understanding when we deal with them compassionately and with mindfulness.

We also make sure to grow our garden where there is the warm and illuminating embrace of the sun.  The Sun is there to light our way in our relationship too, and when we allow it to shine its light of truth and love on us and inside of us, we will find our way through any doubts or fears that might arise on our journey together. The Light inside of us is transformative, just like the sun transforms all vegetation from seed, to germination, to plant, to flower, honouring each stage of growth and then celebrating the blooming culmination of that growth together.

When we are thirsty, we drink from the reservoir of our love for each other, and we make sure that the reservoir is always full and never runs dry because of our commitment. We know that if we forget to water the garden, it will not flourish, and some of it will become diseased and die.  When we observe the growth and changes in our garden, or if there is something that needs an extra boost, or pruning, or weeding, or maybe even a little spraying, we just do it. We protect our garden from harmful creatures just like we want to protect ourselves from harmful people, thoughts, actions and conditions that might cause our relationship injury.

So, how do we treat the one we love? Think of your lover as a garden.  We don’t morally judge or criticise the garden for not being perfect.  We don’t yell at our garden when it doesn’t produce a great crop of something.  If it doesn’t produce a great crop, or the flowers are sickly, then we know it’s because we didn’t tend to it properly.  There was something we missed because we weren’t paying attention.  If we want what’s best for our relationship, or our garden, then we make sure it gets the attention and care it needs in every way possible, and to the best of our abilities.  As soon as we become aware of what is missing we respond in a way that will again encourage it to reach the truest and highest expression of itself, just as we would wish for our mate.  We experience this ultimate result in the beautiful bloom and fragrance of the flowers, the sweet, plump textures and tastes of the various fruits, the delicious and nourishing flavors of the crisp and juicy vegetables we harvest and bring to the plate for our banquet of life. Our relationship will bear the same wonderful metaphorical fruits that our garden does if we are good gardeners and good partners.

What about sex?  The garden is alive with Mother Nature’s botanic and creature sexuality in a way that is harmonious and satisfying to all its participants and fulfills its purpose in every way to the benefit of all the earth. If we respect nature’s laws, and mix it with an abundant portion of love and imagination, then we too will be fulfilled.  We must be patient in the garden too, just like we are with our lovers and ourselves.  If we let our ego or our unrealistic expectations interfere with our experience, then we will not find the pleasure and unity we seek.  Our garden flourishes and produces because it is fulfilling its purpose and potential according to its personality and the efforts we’ve made to give it what it needs through our loving guidance.  If we do for each other what we do for our garden our love will thrive and be generous and abundant in its gifts to us.  We will always enjoy each other’s company and reap the benefits of our life together season after season.

I read a quote that says, “Gardening is the art and practice of the long view – and paying attention to details”. That applies to relationships that we want to last forever as well.  We pay attention to all the little details to reach our goal of a long lasting life together, all along enjoying the process that is filled with as many challenges as it is rewards.  Later, when it’s time for the harvest, and our season of life is complete, if we are lucky we will be able to rest together in the shade on a sunny day and just simply be at peace with the life we made together, the beautiful garden of love that we shared, and the ripple effect that our love created for our friends and family during our precious life together.  What a wonderful garden!  What a celebration and blessing!  Just like our lives together should be!  And this, dear friend, is what I wish for you!

 

 

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2 Comments to The Garden as a Metaphor for Love & Relationships

  1. Ron's Gravatar Ron
    March 31, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Jan
    you go girl. let that Writing woman free.

    all is well hope so with you also

    Ron

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