Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love is All Around

I'm not into valentines day. Really.

I was just trying to recall the number of times in my life when I've celebrated it, and I guess if I have to think about it that hard - it's most likely not to have happened more than one time. 

Don't get me wrong: I'm not being Dr.Killjoy here -  I'm deeply romantic; I love hearts and candies and flowers as much as anyone does . . . but I just think that when you love someone expressing your love isn't an isolated act... it is a lifetime of expressions, some subtle; almost invisible . .and some large and audible.

When I think about things that went into forming my younger-self impressions of what 'love' is, only one memory stands out. 

One evening, the year I turned 20, I was at an open-air concert by a French Pianist. It was part of my job, as one of the organizers of the event, to walk around and make sure everyone was seated and to take care of all the other details. I caught a break some time after the concert began and found myself seated close to a woman I had met through work, and her husband. 

I had never met anyone quite like this woman. She must have been in her late-50's. She was a poet who was in a cross-cultural marriage, and had lived away from her home country for over three decades; residing in small rural towns where it was rare to find other women who spoke English. And this is where she raised six children and buried one child; suffered immense loneliness and heartache - relying on her poetry to convey the intensity of her experiences. I found her fascinating & took up any and all opportunities to have conversations with her.

Anyhow - let's go back to that evening. 

She had briefly nodded off to sleep at some point during the concert. My own mind was adrift. I don't recall what I might have been thinking, but I remember the heady fragrance of Jasmines filling up the night air, and that I  was staring at the full moon. 

I was broken out of my reverie when I heard the woman's husband gently nudging her awake, whispering, "look". And she woke up and looked directly down at the reflection of the moon in the pool, although he hadn't pointed or explained what he wanted her to see.

They both smiled at each other. "It's beautiful", they whispered, and continued looking at the reflection in the pool.

And in that moment I knew that is what love was: a lifelong conversation. 

And that it meant not always having to explain yourself . . understanding instinctively what the other needs . .knowing that you will care about each other years after all the dreams and heartaches are over... that life isn't perfect and there will be many trials and your heart might break but it will heal itself again . . but  you have to be willing to move past that and forgive each other . . or forgive yourself . . love also means accepting that feelings are not always noisy and so you aren't loved any less just because someone doesn't always tell you that they love you in the exact way that you want or when you want . . that love isn't easy. Period. 

But it's worth it.

Love dearly; show love daily. Not only because you are supposed to show it today.

All my loved ones: you have a unique and special spot right here in my heart, dedicated to you every day of the year.
Happy Valentines Day. 

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