My maternal grandmother was a farmer and gardener. My strongest memories of her are her tending and digging in soil. I remember how lush her garden was, and how proud she was of it. I remember the flowers, vines and especially her tomatoes.
I remember how she planted what she called a ‘winter garden.’ I had no idea what this was before she told me. It was preparation.
In the face of things changing, she was preparing for the change so it would not effect what it was she was growing. My grandmother saw what was needed, and made provision to make sure that it happened–within her scope of power and influence. Let me tell you what this means. In my T.D. Jakes’s voice: “Can I go deeper?”
People always want to be in love when it is easy. When everything is rosy, money is abundant and there’s nothing to work out or at. But every relationship, will encounter a winter garden. A place where nothing is as it seems. Where nothing looks like it’s growing and all you have are memories of how it used to be. Yet, there is still something you can do.
Look at what you have planted. In other circles, I would ask, “What have you sown?” or “What is being sown?” The one thing her diligence taught me was a healthy relationship takes vigilance. It take being willing to the thankless things, because that too requires sacrifice. You have to see what is, and plan for what will be.
How deep are you prepared to go? What have you planted?
Love is the basis for the garden–the essential soil.
Trust is the seeds which are planted–deeply. If there is no love there, it will never grow. Without trust, nothing else will flourish.
Honor is what sprouts from the ground. What happens when love and trust push through the dark parts of their growing together.
Commitment is what continues to grow. It is the roses, the tomatoes, the violets or at tulips. It is the proof what you have put together, is not in vain, and is able to be sustained. It is this knowledge that allows the winters of your relationship to be opportunities to keep planning, keep tending the weeds of doubt, fear and the everyday assaults on your sanity.
Commitment keeps the garden growing. It is love’s heartbeat. Even with no evidence at present, or immediately. Even when you have to go back and reseed, or replant! The commitment reminds you of what it is worth to keep going.
There is nothing so beautiful as something that lasts.
Black love is the type that lasts.