I am a big fan of the Lord of the Rings movies. I am not afraid to admit (now that it is many years past) that I actually risked a very good job to go to the showing of the entire trilogy at a local movie theater. I walked out of work in the morning and hoped no one would notice that I was gone the rest of the day. It worked. I went with my husband to see the full 9+ hours of the LOTR movies on the big screen. The experience was amazing and (in the hindsight light of the fact that I did not lose my job) was worth the worth the risk.
Many people do not realize that a very large theme of the LOTR trilogy (books or movie) is about what is precious to people. Every character in the series is faced with dealing with what is precious to them and the trials that prove that what is precious is worth the cost. Rings, love, friendship, family, country and community. These things are precious to the characters and the series is based on examining these concepts. Gollum even refers to what is precious to him by this very word. The Ring is his Precious. He would go to the ends of the world, kill and even eventually die for it.
I am faced with my own trial of precious these days. Tomorrow, I will walk into a military building with my husband and I will walk out without him. For the next 2 months, I will only have minimal contact with him, basically whatever a drill sergeant deems necessary, which I am told is not much.
Tomorrow, when many of you are reading this, I will be releasing what is precious to me. And I am given something precious in return. I am given the rare opportunity to examine my life and all that is precious in it. I can understand just how very precious these things are, without the painfully messy divorce papers or horrific loss of a loved one’s life that normally comes with this kind of situation.
While it may seem trite, my husband and I have what I have always thought of as the rare and elusive true love. We adore, idolize and desire each other, even after 12 years of being together. Life without the other is unimaginable. For god sakes, we still talk the sickeningly sweet, cutsie baby talk to each other.
When it comes to what is precious to me, as you may have surmised, there is my husband. My children are precious as well. All of which I have given much thought to lately, thankful that I have them, but now more keenly aware that in a heartbeat they could be gone.
Then there is my gardening. It is also precious to me, though in a different way. It is my escape and solace. Right now, I have more seedlings growing than I know what I will do with. I just keep packing cups with dirt and shoving seeds into them. One after another, like it will make a difference that I bring tiny lives to life while mine gets turned upside down. And maybe it does make a difference. Doing, not thinking, is a very precious thing about gardening.
J.R. Tolkien also made big of gardening in his books, considering that one of his main characters was a gardener. Hobbits were people of the earth, and plants were precious to them, maybe for reasons why it is precious to me. Gardening reminds us that we have power over our world, no matter how small and powerless we are or feel. It is a precious thing to know that you can bring food to the table, joy to the heart and life to the world in spite of everything the world can throw at us.