What is love?
Yesterday I fell in love many times, and it was wonderful. It began as I drove through a small suburb, just outside the city limits. On the side of the road were several horses in a stable. As I scanned the field I noticed there were more, running around looking very content with the coming of spring. My heart danced with the beauty of their strides and the pounding of their hooves as they galloped across the partially snow-covered grass. An older man wearing overalls was walking next to the fence and although I stared at him without recognition, he waved. I couldn’t help but smile as I noticed the look of complete happiness in his eyes. It reminded me of my grandfather who chewed tobacco and never seemed to say much, but who always smiled with love.
I spent the rest of the day teaching English, a career that brings me great joy. My days begin with “Hi Miss” the moment I walk in the door and continue with the many beautiful moments teachers experience but rarely share. I feel great joy teaching English, which means my days are filled with doing what I love the most. I feel the students inspire me much more than I could ever inspire them, as they continually surprise me with their ability to create beautiful stories.
I returned home later that evening and when I opened the door I was greeted by the smell of freshly-baked cookies, which were made by my soon-to-be 17-year-old daughter. The smell of the cookies and the sound of her voice as she was talking to her friend on the phone brought me profound happiness. I was home for a short break for Easter, which meant time with her. As I walked into the house I saw all the pictures on the wall, her baby pictures and our memories as mom and daughter. My heart felt as if it would explode with maternal appreciation for the years we’ve shared and with gratitude for having such a great daughter. The family dog pounced on me, ran around and begged to be fed. I bent down to say hello and he began running around me in circles. I couldn’t help but smile and think to myself, “you are a complete nuisance at times, but we love you.”
Before bed, I began putting away the laundry and as I folded it neatly in a basket, music (Nina Simone to be exact) played in the background, taking me into the wonderful dance of life that only music can offer. Smiling, I realized I was indeed rising to the spiritual beat of musical time. I fell in love once again with the lyrical movements of sound.
To end the night I prepared my running gear for my morning run in the wind. The rain would be ready to meet my face as I opened the door. Smelling the fresh air once again in memory, my heart began making love to the sound of my breathing – up quiet streets and snowy hills as every turn became a new victory in the battle toward a better me. I began each run with “I am in love with you, and with me.”
I felt one last ‘I love you’ as I climbed into bed, the one that allowed sleep to wash over me – it was a love I felt deep within for those who taught me so much. It was like being in a dream, reliving itself every day within my heart and mind, pounding to make sure it was heard louder than all the useless complaining we often do. I’d learned so much from books and from great minds and have now become an autodidact. My need to learn more continues.
Settling in for the night under my blankets I picked up a book to read. I started thinking about the last one I read and how I wished I could read more, and write even more than that. My writing puts me to sleep on so many nights – pen and paper next to my bed, another story waiting to be told. I was so in love with it. It was the perfect love, making me feel whole at the end of the day. If anyone had told me years ago that I’d love it this much I would have denied such a thing could ever happen.
This is my love story, what love is to me. The moments we spend living and the moments our hearts continue to beat in a world wanting us to hate. Love is the moments we ignore while looking for the bigger moments. It is the daily giving we do – to give is to love. I shall love like this until my days are over and the wind no longer blows against my face.
Photo by Melinda Cochrane – All Rights Reserved