This is the box filled with collapsed boxes with which I shall begin to pack my house.
At first glance, it it simply a box.A box that is standing in the entryway of my home.There is nothing intimidating or dangerous about this box. Even at its worst mischievousness , if it fell on me I would not even be maimed by its bulk. I would merely say, “Goodness, it has fallen over.”
Yet, this box of boxes transforms itself in my mind into something more sinister. Something with evil intent, to wear me down and insist that my efforts of organizing our home into little boxes is as futile as the very words King Solomon spoke, thousands of years before this cardboard menhir was carried into my house. Instead of seeing a bland beige box, I see a menacing monolith of grandiose proportions just waiting to pounce on my efforts of vanity.
The whole purpose of these boxes is not necessarily what we will be putting into the boxes. The purpose is actually what we won’t be putting into the boxes. And I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of clutter I am not going to feel like moving with us.
I have a closet in the master bedroom, alone, that is larger than most dorm rooms in America. I had put things in there for storage when we first moved into this house, and it has become the cave of isolation and doom for 7 years. I honestly don’t even know what are in the shoe boxes on top of the shelf, holding up other mystery shoe boxes. It is going to be a coin toss as to whether or not I even open them before I throw them out, at this point.
The hallway closet upstairs is filled with sheets that fit a queen size bed, which we no longer have. We are also up to our ears in crib blankets and sheets, which we have also grown out of. And I can assure you: there will be no broken toys of any sort that will take this journey with us.
What I cannot bring with us, and what I will sorely miss with all my heart, are my grapes.
I have 4 grapevines in my front yard which give me buckets and buckets of seedless table grapes every harvest. They were an amazing investment, and I treasure them enormously. My kids can pick grapes on the way out of the house and grab bunches on the way back into the house when we return.
Any plant that actually grows in my garden is amazing…and these grapevines are a fulfilling plant for my gardening soul to have flourishing in my home. It is beautiful, sturdy, a faithful grower and it gives us fruit that I love.
I spent a good amount of time this morning completing the final prune on the grapevines before growing season begins. They are all little stumps of sticks by now, but I could see the very living green under the flaking bark when I snipped branches off. Which, naturally, reminds me of this:
That is the whole point of pruning, is not to stall its growth or kill the plant, but to be able to bear more fruit.
There was a 2 question questionaire I read (very quickly) that could predict how healthy a marriage was. The couples were asked to rate their answers on a scale of, ‘much worse,’ to, ‘much better.’ It was easy for me to answer. This was a no-brainer for me.
The first is: “How happy are you in your marriage relative to how happy you would be if you weren’t in the marriage?”
And the second: “How do you think your spouse answered that question?”
I am very happy in my marriage. If I was not in this marriage, I would be so…so much worse. Worse isn’t even a valid variable, I don’t believe. I would be a completely different person, obviously; but I would not know what it felt like to be truly loved by my husband, which I do now. This would lead to a bitter and fungal soul, I guarantee you. I depend on my husband’s love to help me…be great, and not be horrible. If I wasn’t in this marriage, I would not be happy. I would be miserable, and I am sure the people around me would be miserable as well.
(for the record, we were going through some relationship book once, and we got to the term “enabling,” at which point we got out the dictionary and tried to figure out of we were enabling each other with our love. …nope)
And how I think my spouse would answer that question: quite the same.
But this got me to thinking about my grapes again.
I will miss my grapes. We have a good relationship together. I take care of them, and they give me beautiful vines and grapes. We take care of each other, and we have had a good run.
I will not miss other things here. We do not have a good relationship together.
So, how happy will I be if I wasn’t in a relationship with some of these other things? Very happy. It will be nice to let them go.
How will they answer the same question?
I honestly am not sure. And it is possibly unfortunate to say that I also am not too worried to find out the answer, either way.
Some relationships need to be pruned so that you will grow a healthy vine that gives you fruit. And although pruning can be scary…the idea of never changing and watering dead vines for the rest of your life is much scarier. So, with a mighty snip… you let them go.