Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Virtues of the Linum Perenne

On this day 18 years ago, I married my best friend, my soul mate, my G, on the shores of Lake Tahoe - our paradise!

Our dear friends Steve and Glacier, inspired by the beautiful Linum perenne, shared these important lessons on marriage at our wedding. They are as relevant today - maybe even more so - as they were 18 years ago. 

The Virtues of the Linum Perenne

Biologists, botanists and naturalists alike refer to this surrounding forest system as the Sierran Montane. However, growing up here, Geoff and Bjorn probably only knew it as the mystical place where snow fell deep during winter ski season and the trails ran without end in the summer. One of the richest and most diverse temperate forest ecosystems in the world, the Sierran Montane stretches in pockets from the California-Oregon border to the north, down to Baja Below us. 

Amidst all the conifers that grow abundantly in this range, down on the soft mat of the forest floor blooms a spectacular wildflower, the Linum perenne, or perhaps more commonly known as the western blue flax. Radiating in deep shades of lavender, this delicate blue flower by its example instructs us in several important lessons for the special marriage we gather to initiate today.

Lesson #1

Subject to long, dry summers, the Linum perenne pushes its roots deep into the ground to tap the lingering water from the winter's snow melt. In this manner, we know that Geoff and Amy will grow and drive their roots of commitment deeper to withstand the drought brought by the challenges of modern life. 

Lesson #2

Long summers allow the Linum perenne to enjoy a long growing season, taking advantage of the abundant sunshine to bloom and grow. So too a healthy marriage must have long growing seasons in which to cultivate communication, trust, intimacy and interdependence. 

Lesson #3

On the hottest, driest days of summer, a carelessly disposed cigarette, a camper's fire, or lightening from a passing thunderstorm might spark brush and forest fires which can rage through these lands quickly and destructively. 

In our lives, we have our own brush fires which can descend on us without warning. Solemnly, we must anticipate that crises will erupt in our lives unexpectedly. The Linum perenne is prepared for such trials. It stores a wealth of nutrients and water deep in its roots so as to quickly re-sprout after fire sweeps through the forest. In times of trial, we should confide in and draw strength from no person more that our mate. 

Lesson #4

When in bloom, the Linum perenne radiates and shines in a spectacular fashion, advertising its glory to all fortunate to be near. As husband and wife, if the love that you pledge to each other this day continues to be nourished, your marriage will shine and glow, inspiring and refreshing those who you touch. 

-Steve and Glacier Kingsford-Smith, Sept. 6, 1997

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