19.

"Bronze," he says. "That's the gift for 19 years."


Considering I have no gift planned because life feels a little like a spin-out on a windy highway, and definitely nothing relating to bronze, I search my brain for anniversary gifts.


"Can our gift to each other be picking out plants for the front yard?"


Having an anniversary around a major holiday has it's perks every year. We always get an extra day or two off, and life just takes a slower pace, a needed rest. The next day we arrange a plant purchase on OfferUp and take a little date there because the kids stay home by themselves. Amid the bustle of regular life which more resembles Grand Central Station, a few hours to focus on a project together rejuvenates.


The plants look a little sad at first. Wilty and tiny, not at all like the impressive pictures in the ad, iris in full-bloom. The snow-in-summer looks more like dead-crap-in-summer, but tiny light green buds hide amid the dry brown buds. The creeping Jenny looks more like stay-in-one-spot Jenny. The sweet box shrub with black olive-shaped berries sort of tilts because it's top-heavy, having lost its secure roots in the transfer.

Eventually the irises will multiply into a sea of deep indigo, overcoming the decorative boulder. With hope, the creepy Jennys will creep and complement their way over and into the little decorative fire hydrant (while still being code-compliant). Someday those sad summer snowflakes will not be dead and brown. The sweet box with its white trumpet flowers will burst with joy before leaving the black berries. With each day's watering and tending, this tiny garden will become a bountiful place from which we can share with others on their 19 year anniversaries. It take time to make something new.


Bronze, a combination of many metals which create something entirely new. Like a sad transplanted garden that's turning into something new. Kind of like us on our wedding day 19 years ago, brand new with no idea what garden we could grow.


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