‘I do’ was not a moment but a place we’ve built on truth ...
Oak trees are one of my favorite things in nature. I have been mesmerized by them since I was a kid when my family and I would take road trips up to the Central Coast of California to see relatives that live there. I would stare out the window and follow the rolling hills dotted with oak trees of all shapes, sizes, ages….and stories. To me, that’s what I thought about. For some reason, oak trees just seem like they each have a story, or maybe several stories because they live so long that they get to bear witness to so much life that happens around them. When it came time for me to launch Garrett Richardson Photography, my brand, in so many ways my heart, it didn’t take long for me to know that I wanted an oak tree as a focal part of my logo and brand. Here’s a bit more about my heart behind Garrett Richardson Photography:
Most oak trees live over 200 years. Some can even survive over a thousand years. But oak trees would be pretty hopeless if they didn’t have a root system. For me, that root system is the neverending hope and joy found in my faith in Jesus Christ as the victorious son of God. From this, so much of my root system around marriage is derived. Just as I believe that committed faith can leave a powerful legacy for generations, so I also believe that a thriving marriage is powerful and that its impacts can indeed outlive the lives that participated in it.
Oak trees are both simple and complex all at once. When I see a solo oak tree in the middle of a field (one of my favorite images), it gives this feeling of simplicity and suspended time…it can be really centering and calming. And yet, when I get up close to a huge, old, oak…I quickly realize that it is actually incredibly complex. Branches jet out in every direction, leaves and acorns vary in development, shape, and season. I can’t even see the root system but know that if I could, the majesty and the complexity of these trees would leave me even more in awe.
Again, I think marriage is sort of like the oak tree in these ways too: complex, yet simple. The inner workings of our day to day relationships, the circumstances of life, families, jobs, responsibilities, emotions, and feelings…all of these things can be really complex and challenging at times.
But at the end of the day, maybe marriage can be sort of simple too.
We choose each other. We love each other selflessly. We are safe for and promote each other’s hopes, dreams, and goals. We aim to build each other up and be a soft place to land at the end of each day. We stay stubbornly committed to each other for the rest of our lives. To me, there is nothing more centering or calming than that.