It was Sunday and Dolly was writing a short story. She was practicing to be a writer now that she and her husband were getting used to their empty nest. Here's what she had written so far-
"Two people. Simon and Iris, near to each other stood when they were young and life was new. Their arms reached out and their minds entwined thus together as they grew. Their roots spread out down under the ground joining one with the other, So, from their minds in the sky to the earth-the two were joined together. Thru days when the sun was bright and warm and the winds were temperamental when a laughing breeze rustled the leave, Or when the rain was soft and gentle. Thru days when the clouds were dark and gray and cold and fierce, the two stood firm and faced the storms because they stood together. On a cold dark day, Simon fell off a cliff and was lost in the ocean and their souls that were so entwined were all torn apart and down in his heart Iris's roots were broken and undermined. Bruised and scarred, left standing alone to meet the wind and strife Iris still stood on but lived only half a life."
"Hello Dolly, how are you Dolly", sang Josh as he played the piano
"I don't know what we are going to do today, it is Sunday and we are stuck here"
"Yuk! Why be so negative," said Josh, " I have my piano, you have your writing and we are lucky to have our house to live in it"
"I know I know but," said Dolly but Josh interrupted
"And we have two grandkids who are living just down the road from us and we can have them come and visit us anytime we ask them"
"Yes," said Dolly, " I love them both"
"You know Kayla was telling me a story she had written the other day about how two people who wanted to live in paradise together found a leaf on the ground that spoke to them and they used it to sit on and the wind came and lifted them up and then into the sky where they were rescued by an angel who took them to paradise"
"Oh my God" said Josh, "A trip on a tree leaf! Paradise is too far away for that!". Let's sing a song and then open our mail, it's been lying there the whole weekend"
Dolly opened the mail and suddenly screamed " look we are invited to a tree planting ceremony to commemorate the wedding of Kayla and her friend Tim who have been married for ten years.
"Ok, when is that happening?" asked Josh.
"Next weekend, Saturday"
"In their front yard outside their house on Prescott Avenue
It's a tree-planting ceremony"
"how weird is that," said Josh
Dolly frowned "You know Josh I'm getting worried about you and your attitude to stuff like this. Mother Earth has a lot to offer us humans and we need to recognize her as the source of harmony and joy"
"oh really," said Josh "I'm sorry but you know I'm trying to be a tough old man and not get too soft-hearted about nature. It's there and that's that. But I love you more every day and so I want to grow old happily with you and so I will put my outdoor casuals on and we can go together. Especially as it is just across the street from Oak Newton Park. "
"Great, thank you my love, and maybe we can take a walk in the park together afterward".
A week later when they got to the event they found that there were tables with kind of health foody stuff in the front yard. you know meatless sausages, burgers, and vegetarian waffles. All their friends were there and so they had a fine time chatting together until a bell sounded from a podium and a lady in her thirties announced. "Hello everybody! My name is Lydia .
Kayla and Tim, your home is a special place, a place where you have brought beautiful flowers and plants here to establish them, to nurture and care for them, that they may forever surround you with the beauty we now see. And into this place where we stand, you have brought something else beautiful -- the relationship that became your marriage."
"How sweet is this" whispered Josh in Dolly's ear
"Here we are declaring it and pledging it, promising to establish and nurture it. We are aware of the special beauty between the two of you, just as we are aware of the special beauty of this place. We are with you now in this appropriate place to celebrate your relationship as it is and as it is yet to be, and in doing so, we ask only that you remember how your life together will have the same seasons and needs as your gardens."
"This is so cute" thought Dolly
"There will be growth like spring and loss like fall; there will be giving as the blossoming flower, and rest as the seed beneath the snow. All the seasons will be yours but remember, too, that gardens are not just happenings. The more wonderful the garden, the more skilled the gardener."
"I knew it" whispered Josh as he smiled at Dolly, "here comes the workload for the guys."
"No," said Dolly "this is about being partners in communication with Mother Earth"
"sssh, you guys" hissed Kayla, "this is new. It is not the tired old male-female separatist propaganda"
"So you will have to care deeply for your new tree and for the life that is now yours together. Nurture it. Appreciate your differences and cultivate them. You will have to take care of yourself, if for no other reason than out of love for the other."
"See" said Dolly " it is all about partnership and love"
"And you will need the support of family and friends to reach full growth. As you caringly chose to plant this tree as a symbolic representation of your marriage, so remember its lessons for your life together through the seasons that are yours to share. And may those seasons bring you and yours joy and happiness".
"Amen to that" shouted Josh
"Now Kayla and Tim I want you both to take up your shovels and please begin to fill the hole of the tree. This tree, like your marriage, is a living thing. It has its roots in who you both were before you chose to get married and how you met. The trunk of the tree is the life you’ve led—and will continue to lead—together."
"Yea but how about the squirrels who will try to convert it into THEIR home," said Dolly
"That's not important," said Josh "the tree can cope"
"SSSHH you guys, let Lydia talk," said Kayla
"The trunk at some point may merge indiscriminately with the branches, and hopefully this reflects the state of your joint endeavors. You, Kayla, and Tim are a partnership of mutual love and support that results in great blossoming flowers. Everyone you encountered over the course of your life have seen the results of your marriage. Only you two will know of the effort it took to get there but the tree will signal to the sky above symbols of your partnership".
Kayla and Tim took out their shovels and dug a hole in their yard beside where the podium was and then the two of them gracefully planted a two-foot high birch tree there.
As soon as it was done, they stood back, dropped their shovels, and kissed.
"BRAVO," said Lydia "now let's all form a circle around this tree and hold hands and sing the song Amazing Grace".
After they had sung everybody looked calm and inspired and there were lots of cheerful hugs as the group of fifty said goodbye and went along their merry ways.
"Let's go for a walk in the park," said Josh to Dolly
"ok let's go," said Dolly
"I'm sold on this idea," said Josh
"What idea?" asked Dolly
"We should do that ceremony to honor OUR wedding "
"But that was thirty years ago," said Dolly
"Yeah and it's getting better every day, so let's symbolize its promise by planting two trees, symbolizing TWO of us"
Josh and Dolly had been married for thirty years. They had adopted a daughter and had two grandchildren, both of whom were in their early twenties. The grandchildren helped convince Josh and Dolly to use their front yard to plant the trees and instead of having a gathering of friends to witness it Dolly was assigned the role of wringing out a poem to commemorate the occasion. She did and her grandkids engraved it on a stone which this day stands in the front yard where the two beautiful birch trees grow
IN HONOR OF GRANDMA AND GRANDPA
Two trees near to each other stood
When they were young and life was new.
Their limbs reach out and their branches entwine
And thus together they grew.
Their roots spread out down under the ground
Joining one with the other,
So, from the top in the sky to the heart
In the earth-the two were joined together.
Thru days when the sun was bright and warm
And the winds were temperamental
When a laughing breeze rustled the leaves,
Or when the rain was soft and gentle.
Thru days when the clouds were dark and gray
And cold and fierce the weather
The two stood firm and faced the storms
Because they stood together.
On a cold dark day one tree fell
And the branches that were so entwined
Were all torn apart and down in the heart
Roots were broken and undermined.
Bruised and scarred, left standing alone
To meet the wind and strife
The one that was left still stood on,
But lived only half a life.