Thursday, 17 April 2014

On marriage, gardening and worms


          I don't like gardening. I don't hate it. I just don't like it. My first attempt at gardening ended up in me jumping nearly 2 metres high after finding a frog buried in the patch of earth I was digging up. How the hell that frog survived, living buried there, I haven't got a clue. I just know that it was very alive and it jumped on my foot.
          My mother was a keen gardener (she would have loved our garden if she were still alive, and it kills me that she never saw our house - Letters to my mother). My husband is a keen gardener. I like to see the flowers; I like to water the plants, walk barefoot on the grass, take photos of our flowers, birds, butterflies and ladybugs. Just don't ask me to kneel down there and dig and dig and dig, or or tidy or weed the garden. Some people may say I'm lazy. But, then, I love writing, and I won't call you lazy if you tell me you hate it. 
          My husband has been working on our garden. He's been cutting plants and replanting them, digging here and there, choosing carefully what plants he will use and where he will plant them. He spends hours outside and usually has a bad back at the end of the day, but he comes in and he's so happy! I've been working on my novel; my first one. It's hard work. I'm constantly thinking about things, sometimes my brain gets tired of carefully choosing what words to use, but when I've done my 800 words or so I'm also so happy!
           Anyways... Yesterday he asked me if I could help him in the garden this week. Uh-oh... I couldn't say no to him. I had some things to do today and had to go some places, so when I phoned him and he said he was doing what he'd asked me to do, I have to confess that I was kind of relieved.
             When I got home he was so excited to continue the work that again I said yes. We have a "circular rockery filled with heather" (his words, I would never be able to describe it. Ha!) in the middle of our garden. He wants to build a path in the middle of it, so he needs to dig and to dig a lot. He's shifting the earth from that rockery to the border of the garden, and because there are too many little rocks, my "job" was to sieve the earth (and according to him, I did a good job! Yay!). Ok. There I went.  
            I don't like getting my hands dirty (hence gardening not being one of my hobbies), and I don't like bugs or worms. But seeing my husband so happy to have me around, helping him do something he likes so much, made me incredibly happy. And as I sieved the earth I started finding worms; loads of them (my dad, who loves fishing, would be ecstatic!). I didn't want the poor things to die, so I put aside a little branch to use whenever I saw one, putting it in the good earth. Yes, a little branch. No way I was going to touch them (even though I remember touching some when I went fishing with my dad.. Ugh!).
              "Looking after" those worms, helping my husband with something I don't even like and making him happy, made me think about our relationship. Well, about marriage in general. We've been married for 5 years. We've had difficult times, challenges as every normal couple has, we had to adapt to each other's cultural differences (I'm from Brazil, he is British) and so on.  I know people say that individuality in a marriage is very important and all. I totally agree with that, but in a way we are so dependant on each other! For nearly everything. We do loads of things together. We have a lot of things in common.  Gardening is not one of them. Well, like I said, he likes to work in it, I like to look at it. :P 
               Back to the marriage, gardening and worms. Why worms? Well, while I was sieving the earth, there were loads of worms and I didn't want them to die. (if it were spiders, there would be a totally different story) So I was there, sieving and watching out for any worms, so I could pick them up with my stick and put them in the bucket with the good earth. 
                How many times in our relationships (especially  marriages, which are supposed to "last forever") do we look through the rocky, weedy earth and "rescue the worms"? How hard can it be to stop what you're doing for a while to be around that one person you love so much, and who is so happy just to have your company? 
                 I don't like gardening; and I didn't do much today either. I "saved" a lot of worms. I had fun with my husband, we talked, we took photos of/with the worms, we hugged and kissed each other many times during those 2 hours we "worked" outside. And you know what? He wasn't the only one who was grateful for my - very little - help. I was grateful that I could spend those 2 hours with him. And that made me happy. 
               What about my writing? Didn't I rather be inside writing my novel, my blogs, etc? Well, he's in bed now. We said our boa noite, amo voce*, and gave each other a biiiig kiss good night. Now, it's my time to write. Happy, with my heart in peace and filled with love.
               How about you? How do you "rescue the worms in your marriage"? :)

* boa noite, amo voce = good night, I love you (in Portuguese)


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