Love Fern (#6/52)

Around the time we first met, my would-be husband gave me a potted orchid and said, “Here, I got you this fern.”

I still have that “fern” and tend to it. Orchids are the trickiest of plants. The “fern” followed me to a new house, into our new marriage, up on an open shelf for a while, and now into our bright sunroom (where, oddly, it seems happiest and grows the most tendrils and new leaves. Orchids are supposed to thrive in darker light and more moist air. But I tend to watch plants to see what they do before following any straight forward horticulture directions, and this one likes more sunlight).

But this is my new love fern, for this Valentine’s.

I definitely could not have told you that the fern-bearer in a tank top and a backwards hat would become my best companion and forever person, but I’m exceedingly grateful that he did.

I’ve mostly been reflecting about justice issues here, and that’s fine, but I also wanted to write on something personal. After all, “Justice is what love looks like in public, and tenderness is how love feels in private.” — Dr. Cornel West.

In the last month, we’ve been living in a world of tenderness and justice, of harshness and injustice, and we’re coming to terms with what they all mean to our marriage and how they grow in us new roots and rays. To those who have been aside us and also giving us so much tenderness and kindness, know how thankful we are for you and that we appreciate all of it. Every bit of love. Every inch of justice.