Hanako had fallen in love, and had enthusiastically responded to the young man's proposal of marriage. She had no doubt of his love for her. As the marriage date drew near, however, her mother knew that something was bothering her.
One day, when the mother and daugh-ter were at the beach, the cause of the girl's worry came to light. "Will our love last?" she asked. "I've heard of so many cases where it did not. If I could only be certain that our marriage would be as successful as yours. Even now, when you and daddy are growing old, you always seem to be so close.
How did you manage to hold on to daddy's love?
The mother thought for a few minutes and then picked up two handfuls of sand. "Watch my hands," she said. Then she squeezed the sand in her left hand. The more she squeezed, the more sand escaped. through her fingers. The harder she squeezed, the more the sand escaped through her fingers. The harder she squeezed the more the sand escaped.
The right hand she kept open. It remained full of sand.
"I do not know," the mother said, "all of the secrets connected with love. But I do know this: it cannot be forced. It can only thrive in an atmosphere which is relaxed and trustful.
"I have never used any special techniques to hold on to your father's love. I have never tried to forced him to be the type of husband I wanted him to be. I accepted him as he was, and he did the same for me. This deep understanding and mutual trust of each other was, I think, more responsible than anything else for the success of our marriage.
"If we had tried to force each other to conform to each other's desires, as I forced that sand, our love might have been lost, and our marriage ruined."