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Things you can depend on

The rosebush you gave me on our tenth anniversary isn't perfect. Neither is the gardenia bush you brought for our twelfth. The rosebush bristles with thorns and has little fragrance. But its leaves stay green and the stems are firm and they flower gratefully whenever I remember to water. The gardenia bush has other flaws. It blossoms only on the east, while its nether side stays bare. Knobby roots protrude from its base like gray bones from a bed of sinking soil. And its calyx hides a host of uninvited guests that drift about like dustmotes in a beam of light. But the petals are thick and creamy and bloom even when I forget to water. So I tend our garden and trim the bushes and gather the flowers they bear. Although not perfect, they're very, very good, and best of all - always there.

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