We normally use the term mending fences when referring to a relationship that needs to be repaired. I’ve always heard the phrase but never really thought about it until today.
Growing up on a farm I had relatively few responsibilities. I had severe allergic reactions to hay that disqualified me from a lot of farming tasks. And, that left a lot of time to walk the fence line on the back of property and look for problems. You learn a few things when there’s nobody to talk to but birds and cows.
The first thing you figure out is that if it’s important to you then keep it close. When that relationship was new you never wanted that person out of your sight. They were very important to you. When you were together the world was very small.
Next, you learn that if something is important to you, you need to keep the predators out. I’ve mentioned in a few comments that I consider myself a decent tracker. Most of those skills didn’t come from hunting as much as it did being on the lookout for predators that might harm the cattle. In a relationship, there will be predators that are after that valued person. Now, sometimes it’s a rival person but not always. That person normally arrives after the damage is done. In nature our investment is attacked more by pests than coyotes and cougars. In a relationship there’s the daily assault on the connection by little pesky habits and situations that weaken us to the point where the relationship is easy prey for larger danger.
Lastly, it’s much easier to maintain a fence than it is to repair one. Keep the tools handy be ready to patch or prop up any weak places as they are spotted. A sagging fence will let your investment walk right out. In a relationship you should always be ready and equipped to maintain the connection.
Relationship doesn’t necessarily mean romance. Anyone you have interaction with is a relationship. It can be a lover, a friend, a customer or just someone who passes you on the street and waves hello. All of these connections are emotional investments of one degree or another. All have value and all are worth keeping in good shape.