One of the most beautiful things about any relationship is the ability to grow, and to grow together. Relationships, when they are healthy, allow for the growth of people. It allows for the people whom have chosen to be together, to continue to be together. A lasting relationship will always have provide grace.
This grace comes through the most powerful four-letter word in the human vernacular: time. One of my favorite lines about time comes from Sabrina Claudio’s album About Time.
“…time gives us everything and takes everything away.”
The enduring quality of grace means you have the capacity to let the other person grow. This is the grace I have seen, and desire. No better is that grace seen in the marriage of Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. It is the quote by Ossie Davis that I try and exercise in my romantic and intimate relationships:
“I love you means I want what’s best for you, whether it benefits me or not.”
Ruby Dee talked about how they grew together, grew up together, but they decided to be together while they did it. Through the journey of parenting, arguments and even trying an open relationship, they learned they in each other was all they wanted.
They learned that giving each other space; listening to the needs of the other; making space for each other to change and grow; being in love when love ain’t popular, that grace manifests as wedding anniversaries. From those anniversaries, the rarified air of the noteable anniversaries that everyone thinks about.
With the same person.
Whom is not the same person they were all those years ago. The grace you develop allows you to know and remember that. In the age where everyone, gets tired of everything with the speed of cell phone upgrades, seeing something like this is amazing.
I have wanted that. I strive for that in my romantic relationships. I work at it. This concept that the relationship has to serve two people. It has to sustain two people. It has to support two people, whom themselves will grow and change. We look at the result, the number of years–not the process of what lead to the decades of being together. In the land of microwaves, Tinder and Facebook, no one wants to make space–and hold it for someone else.
Grace demands patience and space. In the face of the world that thinks anything Black has to be scrutinized, and dismantled; seeing a couple endure outside critique only to turn to your partner and make it one more day? Month? Year? That is a phenom in and of itself.
You want to know why flowers are so beautiful? Time. The hardest part is not the bloom, its the rooting. It’s the diligent process of going when no one is looking, notices or care. The bloom is just the fruit of that to the world around you that indeed you are rooted.
Love gives you the grace to bloom because you no other option. It forces you to be great, even in the dark places.