The Evolving Spouse

You won’t know who you married until you spend a lifetime with them.

After twelve years together and eight years married, I can already see that this is true.

When I married my husband, his personal interests included nature, hockey and history. I was interested in nature, art, poetry and gardening, and knew nothing about sports. A perfect match!

Okay, it was more than opposite interests attracting, which fed our shared voraciousness for discovering new things. Our lives had similar beginnings and we chose parallel paths. We decided to continue our journey together, and joined on the same path.

These days, his main interests are landscaping and gardening. We have a kaffir lime tree in our house. He coaxes African violets to bloom and literally tucks our hydrangeas in a winter blanket of oak leaves. “It must be oak leaves”, he says. I’m not sure why this is, but I believe him. He has the greenest thumb I know. Yet, when I met him, he didn’t have a single plant.

Hydrangeas, nestled under their oak leaf blanket for winter slumber

His passion is growing orchids, particularly unusual orchids. We currently co-habitate with thirty-one orchids. My husband, the Orchid Master.

The top shelf orchids, including an Epidendrum 'Aiko Miracle Valley' pink one in front. On the far left is a Tolumnia 'Pink Panther', whose parent would naturally grow on the tips of branches bathed in dappled sun in Costa Rica.

His green children love him and express their love for him in beauty. Our home reaps the benefits.

A pendant species: Dendrobium loddigesii mounted on cork with sphagnum moss. Hoping for spring blooms.

The discovery that he is a wonderful and devoted husband and father was not a surprise. The orchids were a very happy surprise. I could not have predicted it.

Flowergirl and Daddy

Orchidman’s interests and my interests have converged. It would have been fine if they had not, but sharing interests is fun. I love afternoons when we both work on our gardens outside. I work in the vegetable garden or in our tiny “orchard” of blueberry bushes and a few fruit trees too young to produce. He works in his herb garden or on some new area of landscaping that he’s designing. Togetherness in parallel tasks, each master or mistress of individual domains.

Odontocidium 'golden leopard cheetah' the biggest guy. Got four 2-foot flower spikes this summer that lasted five months.

Tethering yourself to someone is a leap into the unknown. Your partner will change and you will change. Your interests may grow more similar or more disparate. It’s impossible to predict. As long as both partners are committed to their own continued personal growth and to the continued personal growth of the other, you both grow together.

Epidendrum 'Aiko Miracle Valley'. A hybrid that just keeps blooming in perpetuity.

We nurture each others’ inner Renaissance. The need to express is the shared interest for us more than any particular expression. But sharing the particulars is wonderful.

On this one-way ride, take the scenic route, in parallel, together. Marry the evolution. Await the surprises that comes from a lifetime of changes.

Angraecum didieri. My first mounted orchid, attached to remnants of our apple tree. The roots are the only thing holding it to the branch.
Barkeria whartoniana. What a graceful little flower.

Orchid photo captions provided by the Orchidman himself.

(@moderatelysane on twitter)

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9 thoughts on “The Evolving Spouse

  1. Another thing about being married is how people sometimes even start to look like each other, wear the same kind of stuff, do all the communicating without actually utterly a single word.

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    1. We marry a person as someone who is evolving, not the person exactly as they were on the wedding day. You can’t predict who your spouse will become. There are many incarnations of my husband that I have yet to meet. Exciting!

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  2. Such a wonderful gift this is…Togetherness in parallel tasks, each master or mistress of individual domains. you write sooo well. amazing..

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    1. Thanks so much, Liz. You would know! His “green kids” were quite the topic around here while they were in “Mommy Camp” last week. I did a good job caring for them all (~35 now) if I say so myself! Thanks for stopping by to say hello :)

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