Gilgamesh is an ancient Babylonian story of a man similar to the story of Noah and his ark. Both stories tell of a great flood that lasted 40 days and created great destruction on the earth yet both men survived by building what we could only describe as a huge arc or ship.
This great destruction of the earth is said to have shaped and transformed it into what it is today. With every great catastrophe there comes new life, new hope and sadly enough extinction.
I suppose in a way it is the earth’s way of personal growth and self rejuvenation.
It is said that everything on this earth is a part of Gaia. Gaia is the human name given to the earth. One can surmise that if Gaia is capable of personal growth; therefore, all parts of her must be able to do the same. Self preservation is not necessarily physical; it can be emotional as well.
When bad things happen to us we react by feeling sad, hurt, crying or by avoiding the situation entirely in an attempt to heal. Emotional or physical pain is not a pleasant experience and sometimes can turn into anger which leads to resentment and finally acceptance before that healing process can begin. Time is what heals most if not all wounds.
I met what would be my future husband when I was twelve years old I just didn’t know it then. A mutual friend of ours was having a birthday party and introduced us, his name was Ross. My first impression of him was that he was kind, gentle and we had similar hobbies, goals and aspirations. What I found most attractive about him was his unique ability to socialize with people.
He didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable or “left-out” and would often initiate conversations with them. We spent a lot of the night dancing and talking to one another but just like Cinderella the clock struck midnight and the party came to a halt. My mother came to pick me up, I went on my merry way and life went on. I didn’t leave a glass slipper behind but perhaps I left a lasting impression.
During our teenage years Ross and I would chance to meet several times. Somehow it always seemed like that before the night was over, we would end up locked in a romantic embrace. I often asked myself was it fate, was he my “mo anam cara”, the Celtic term for soul mate? I do believe that he was, is, and perhaps always will be.
As teenagers often do, I moved on and changed my circle of friends. We lost contact because I didn’t hang around the same crowd, and our circle of friends just did not cross paths.
We were on our paths to personal growth.
Ross and I would not see each other for a few years. Simple fate would bring us together one last time. I woke up like I had done every other day for the past five years, took a shower and turned on the radio to listen to the daily news as I got dressed for school. A strange feeling came across me as I heard the words the news reporter was uttering on the radio. He was reporting a story about a murder that had taken place down by the river in our small city the night before.
Evidently two young men were shot and killed. They had not released any names of the individuals involved and details were sketchy. For some odd reason I had this overwhelming feeling that somehow Ross and his circle of friends were involved. I don’t know how or why I knew, I just knew and I truly hoped that Ross was still alive. I finished getting dressed and walked to school.
It wasn’t until about lunch when rumors were swirling all over the school that I finally heard the news that I was dreading but somehow already knew; two of our mutual friends were shot and killed by another one of our friends down by the river. The shock of that day and the months following would alter our garden of life forever both negatively and positively.
It formed relationships that lasted an entire lifetime, created enemies and divisions among friends and only one thing was certain; most of us grew up overnight. Ross and I began an intimate relationship that would last twenty five years and two children later.
I never thought for a moment that one day the garden we planted would wither away and there would be nothing left but an open field. Love is like a garden, it needs nurturing and constant work in order for it to grow and flourish. When a catastrophe happens in a relationship it takes a lot of care, personal growth, understanding and time to repair it. There are guides that can aid you in rejuvenating your relationships like the magic of making up.
If the love is gone and new seeds are no longer planted, the garden will slowly wither away. It will transform itself and become something completely new.
Two years ago a catastrophic event almost ended my marriage. We have had to nurture it back to health but the relationship we once had no longer exists and unfortunately we are incapable of repairing it. Perhaps for self preservation and healing we have both had to come to the realization that we are far better at being friends than lovers for the moment.
It has not been an easy path for either of us, we have felt pain, anger and resentment but I am happy to say that finally we are both on the path to personal healing.
We had to take a look deep inside ourselves and make some personal growth modifications.
We had to learn to be more tolerant of one another and to stop taking advantage of one another. When you are married for a very long time period you sometimes tend to take one other for granted. To keep love alive, you have to keep the relationship fresh and work towards tolerance of the other person’s personal growth and development.
Often in long-term relationships you become so used to being a couple you forget to allow the other person to be an individual. We all need to flourish and grow on our own sometimes.
I do not know what my new life experiences will consist of; the only thing I do know for certain is that this time I will choose my own path and allow my husband to do the same. I am growing older and nearer to the end of my time in this garden and I don’t want to look back on it with regret. I often felt that during the past twenty five years as though I was sailing through one storm after another trying desperately to calm the seas. Like Gilgamesh and Noah it took one great flood in my life to make me realize that for the longest I have been on a sinking ship and it was time to get off and rejuvenate.