Intimacy... it is many things, I could only start to extrapolate its depth; but one aspect would have to be what a couple who sees deep into the other shares between them, something nobody else knows.
For each couples sharing is as different and varied as gardens are, even as different as stars and planetary systems. It's openness to the other, it's mutual affection creating something between you and your lover. It's cute, it's sexy, it's emotional and sometimes raw and most of all it is you, both of you in all the bare, awkward, sometimes ugly and often beautiful forms you may take.
It's both of you creating a world. A secret garden, a hidden beach, a faraway planet where there are only two inhabitants and the only language known there is spoken by you both. A secret language, one of hidden meanings, unspoken knowledge and physical touch. This language would be foreign to anyone else, for it is strange, ludicrous, stupid... But to you both it is the native language of love and it feels like home.
The secret garden
It is here in this secret garden, in this new world where life springs forth and the wonder you have created between you both extends outward and manifests in the world around you.
This may take form in the most intimate of forms (of a child being created in this world of love), or it can simply be expressed to those around you, by sharing what you have between you.
Either way, the beautiful life-giving effects were never meant to be only shared between you both; because the nature of love is to share, to include others in wonder as well. The garden's fertile tendons spread through the gates, reaching other arid places creating new areas of life and rest for weary and lonesome travelers.
The inner world you have both created togetherhas birthed this love, this life—to be shared with others—but the inner world is something never be shared with anyone else. For it is by its very nature unique because this is the nature of intimacy, ultimate exclusivity, openness to the point of nakedness and total vulnerability.
Something which cannot be shared with everyone, it is only known by the inner circle—the two people who form and create this world by risk of openness, vulnerability, selfless love and nurture for the other.
Bounds of fragility
This world is highly valuable, precious and fragile (as all things precious indeed are). However, in the bounds of this fragility is a deep, underlying strength. This strength refuses to stop loving, even in the face of death, it refuses to stop giving and hoping, it refuses to stop offering itself and sustaining the world it has created with the object of its love—much like the heart of the universe, the loving beating heart of God the Father who shared this intimacy with us in the very first garden: Eden.
If you have found a world like this (even in the smallest of stages) don't be brash with it, don't be harsh or dismissive with it, for it is fragile. It can grow to be powerful, even the most wondrous of kingdoms may crumble without care. Nurture and care for each other will build and strengthen your world and it will bloom and flourish. For as a garden grows with care so will your shared world.
This is one aspect of the wonder of intimacy and one I hope you will cherish if you happen to be blessed enough to come across it. Don't be fooled; this world, this garden, isn't a paradise waiting to be discovered without any cost—it first appears small, even unnoticeable if you aren't aware.
It grows and its water is intentionality, other-focused love, fidelity, and desire for the other being higher than you. Those who happen to discover the magic and the wonder inside of another like this... to see them through the eyes of love, through the eyes of God have indeed found a wonderful and blessed thing.
Tim Everton is a youth worker and designer from the beautiful Southern Coast of South Australia. In his off-time he pursues graphic design, nerdy habits, the beach with its various forms of enjoyment and seeking out his next best cafe latte. Tim Everton's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-everton.html