Marilyn and Robin,
You have chosen a tree to symbolise your hopes for your marriage.
It is a rich and meaningful symbol.
Firstly, you have chosen a living thing – not an inanimate object. But being living, it is subject to all the challenges of survival. It must be nurtured. It will die if it is taken for granted, put in a corner and forgotten.
For the marriage tree to flourish it needs the water of hospitality to each other, the making of space for each other, not to try to change each other but to host each other’s deepest hopes and fears.
To flourish, it needs the fresh air of openness; it needs exposure to the sun – the warmth of love and the light of laughter.
Secondly, when we look at the tree, it is easy to forget that what is below the surface, what is not visible, is as important as the beauty we see in the leaves and branches above. The canopy of the tree expresses the hidden life below. Every good gardener knows that maintaining the richness of the soil is the trick for growing healthy productive plants. Grounding your marriage in a soil rich with spiritual nutrients will ensure healthy growth.
Thirdly, the tree does not live just for itself. The colour green brings rest to our eyes. A tree’s branches, seemingly so randomly arranged, bring a sense of harmony. The tree breaks a bleak and relentless horizon. Its shade brings relief and its fruit provides sustenance to others. So a marriage which is firmly planted in commitment, loyalty and mutual respect and lived openly in the sun and the rain, will bring life to others.
May this tree grow in beauty and fruitfulness.