A couple months back, I was driving down Winslow Way in Bainbridge Island, and an older couple sitting by the side of the road caught my eye. They weren't extraordinary in any way. They weren't doing anything remarkable, impressive or noticeable. However, there was something about their body language, their way of being together that struck me deeply. They sat calmly, side by side, holding hands, faces turned toward each other. That's it.
Mundane? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
Look closer. What we see here is love, in its simplest, purest form. Not dignified or noble. Not even shiny, exciting and new. But love nonetheless. Tested, tried, worn down, beat up, run through the mud, no strings, no bullshit, honest-to-goodness love.
Love, love love. I could expostulate endlessly on the glories of love, but here's the truth.
It's not about love.
Wait. Allow me to rephrase.
It's not just about love.
It's not just about having a physical, emotional, spiritual attraction to another being.
It's not just about the magic, the spark, the butterflies.
It's certainly not just about the chocolate, the wine and the sex.
It's not even just about the hugs and kisses, the late night cuddles and dream sharing sessions.
When you get down to the nitty gritty truth, it's about what love does to us. So-- love, not as a noun, but as a verb. It's about how love changes us as humans. It's about putting our own needs aside, if even for a second, for the sake of another creature. It's about relishing the beautiful symbiosis that is created when we peacefully (and sometimes not so peacefully) coexist with another.
It's about being intimately concerned with the welfare of someone other than ourselves, and how that creates a higher consciousness, a selflessness that, Lord knows, we need more of in the world.
But for today, my expostulation remains brief, for nap time is almost over, and I have a lot to accomplish.