I kept my wedding bouquet. It hangs against the wall in my study next to my desk. I really loved my wedding day and for days afterwards I would stand and smell my bouquet reliving the moments its perfume conjured. As the weeks have gone by, I glance up every now and then at the browning and fading colour, the fragrance no longer wafts through the room but if intently desired, I inhale the soft remenants of the memory of its once intoxicating fragrance.
As I sit here looking up at its existance slowly fading into sepia, this process of stagnation and slow decay has suddenly tweaked a resolved thought.
This bouquet was carefully put together, with the colours complimenting each other and framing the individual flowers that make up the whole, the stalks were pulled firmly together so they didn’t unravel; this bouquet was beautiful. On the wedding day the colours bloomed bright and the scent was full and fresh. In the days after the colours stayed bright and the scent wafted through the house. Weeks pass, and the bouquet has grown tired, the colours and scent have faded, no longer a match for the bloom they once held. And in a matter of years, they’ll fade completely turning to dust.
Like this bouquet, a marriage starts strong, beautiful and bright. The core is held firmly in place, the couple bound in faithfulness, the joy that is shared is so bright and the love they exude – intoxicating, wafting through their lives and the lives of others. But here is where two people have a choice, they aren’t resigned to the fate of a fading bloom, to nostalgia, to the sepied memory. Here people can keep their relationship alive a long time after modern expectations and cynicism expect it to fade away. Keep the core bound firmly, faithfully; through the tough times and the light moments. Bloom brightly together, complimenting and enriching the other, and your joy and love will exude a something more wonderful than nostalgia, it will exude real life – tried and tested, real life. And from there real hope. Hope in the knowledge that this is a real, attainable thing. That long-lasting love is not the stuff of myths.