I don’t know much about gardening. My grandmother had hopes I’d Martha Stewart myself into a domestic dream, but I didn’t. I can barely cook and DIY crafts truly freak me out. I’m not exactly Susie Homemaker, ah, but I digress, gardening: I’ve at least got the basics.
Planting is simple: it starts with a seed. A small something that, when properly tended, can grow and blossom into something much larger. Something much more beautiful. Maybe it’s a lilac bush outside of a quaint cottage. Or bursting red tomatoes growing along a vine. A massive outstretched tree, reaching with arms to touch each corner of the universe. They all start the same way. A seed.
And I think it’s the same thing with love. Platonic, romantic, inner. Love begins in a small dose. It’s not this dramatic overture, violins and trumpets announcing the arrival of love. It doesn’t sprout from one watering session, but it strengthens. It starts.
When love is here to last, it grows with you. It twists alongside you. Weeds will spring forth and you’ll wonder if you can keep up. So you pull out your trusty clippers and do what you can. You put in work, let your hands get dirty in the soil. You sweat and smell like you’ve been in the sun all day. Because you have. But that’s when it lasts. When you are there in the trenches, putting in the effort.
When love is here to last, it doesn’t always taste sweet. There are days it is bitter, bland. You’ll close your eyes and take a bite, marvel that flavor can come swirling around your taste buds when you think it’s gone forever. It’s paprika and pepper. It burns your tongue. It soothes. It’s a coating of honey you think might just be too much. When it lasts, it transforms throughout a lifetime. And on days it doesn’t taste quite as good, you’ll remember to be thankful for food. Some people are empty. Your belly is full.
When love is here to last, it’s not just a poem. It’s not words. And I know this, because when I’m truly in love and happy, and it feels like maybe I’ve got a real chance at something, I’m not writing as much. I’m doing. I’m being. Love isn’t just romantic prose. Love is being there. Love is showing up and doing the job, even when it isn’t easy. Even when it doesn’t sound pretty or like a Nicholas Sparks novel. It’s real. It isn’t fiction. It has scars and parts that can be kind of ugly, and you love those parts a little harder.
When love is here to last, it isn’t an Instagram filter. It isn’t a Snapchat that disappears in 5-7 seconds. It’s the library book that has a funky odor to it, but you just keep checking it out. It’s the classic. The thing you know won’t fade with time and trends. It is comfort and stability. You thought love meant adventure and spontaneity, and it can be. But it’s more. It might not be flashy, but it’s here to last.
When love is here to last, it lasts. I think we try to complicate it. We want to turn it into some formula, the perfect pairing of chemicals and body parts. It makes sense. Humans are always craving a definition or fix. But maybe that’s not possible when it comes to love. Maybe it just happens.
But damn, when it lasts, it just does. And it’s as simple as that.