I first encountered this question with one of my favorite therapists. She asked me, “LeAnna, what kind of relationship do you want?” And said, for her, “it would be like my favorite pair of blue jeans, worn in, comfortable, and comforting.” I thought that was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard and so, I tried that on for fit. It was a delightful notion, but didn’t quite fit what was the relationship that would be best for me. Yet and still, I continued for years to wrestle with that question.
I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately. And today, I came into the realization of what the relationship is that I crave. I am looking for a relationship that allows me to be the wildflower or wild fruit I have always been. Some people call me a free spirit, some an exception, some weird, some zesty or wistful, and others throw their hands up in exasperation as they do not know WHAT I am. I think I am a wild fruit with many branches, stems, and odd fruit, that does not wish to be confined or defined. I am not meant to be a fenced in flower, I am not a dainty rose, I am not flowers that grow in neat rows that bare no fruit but are stunning, and I am not a weed to be plucked. And I need a relationship that is a garden large enough to allow me to grow as I please.
This relationship would not try to confine me, would give me the space to sprawl my long greenery all over the dirt, grow over any fences, destroy fences that stunt my growth, and tends to me with the tender loving kindness that gardeners use to tend to their bounty. Providing nurturing and support when necessary, but never critical or blaming when the bounty does not reach their expectations, and instead thrilled with what it blooms in its own unique space, admiring its unexpected colors or fruits.
A love that is careful when entering the garden to not stomp or destroy the wild flowers of my being, but not too careful as it understands that as a wild fruit, I am capable of a persisting in the worst conditions, but am better when provided the best conditions. A love that respects my ever persisting and fierce life force, but understands that even the wildest among us needs sustenance. A love that possesses the understanding that a garden that wilts needs water, love, nurture, and sunshine, rather than criticism, neglect, or coldness. Who understands that a wilted garden does not have to die, but can thrive when shown a little tenderness, and often comes back tenfold in its produce.
I crave a love that understands that my roots run deeper, wider, and across spans of a universe that they cannot see, and yet, takes the time to study and learn how a wild flower like me can produce sweet fruit, and puts each new tidbit of knowledge into practice. A love that understands that wild flowers cannot be tamed or controlled, they can only be nurtured and loved. And that in return for your understanding, I will reward this love with the sweetest fruits, sustenance for his vitamin deprived heart, and a beauty that has little to do with physical appearance, but the very essence of what it means to live. My fruit is versatile, can be used to cure the ailing of broken hearts and to nourish the sickest of men – if only allowed to be wild and free, with a gentle guard of protection and a tender form of care.
My perfect relationship is a garden, and I, the wildflower. The gardener and I take care of nourishing one another, never expecting each other to be any one other than we are. He would love me to grow into the most magnificent part of myself, never worrying about if I outgrow or shine him, as we both will know, the flower is a direct reflection of his care, nurture, and ability to allow me to be a wild flower. While his health, resilience, and stature is a direct reflection of my ability to provide him with the nourishment of my fruit.
This is what I crave.