Community Practice & Love
What is love? Love is an enchanted energy that blossoms, illuminates, hums and touches life with beauty. It’s a heart ravished by the pulse and pleasure of life.
I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Not because I’m a curmudgeon, not because I don’t love Love, but because I believe love should be celebrated everyday. It should be just as varied and unique as we all are. The Oxford English Dictionary defines love as “Senses relating to affection and attachment.”*, and I don’t believe such senses can be scheduled or contained to a single day. I love the spontaneity of love. The love that sneaks up on you, or peeks around the corner at you. The love you weren’t expecting. The little loves and the big loves. Loves like the giggle you receive from a child, the warm hug from a friend, the sonorous laugh of your sister, and the tender love from your partner.
I love falling in love. It’s different every time and it’s exciting. It can be new or old love, falling in love with people I’ve known for a long time, or falling in love with people I’ve just met. Sometimes when I meet a new person I think “I don’t really know you yet but I get this feeling we could be friends.” so we begin to dance. Sometimes it’s a planned dance, a mid-afternoon coffee date or hike in the park. Sometimes it’s a spontaneous dance, a chance meetup and an unplanned day of milkshakes, mini-golf and movies. I then notice that I’m falling in love with them, not hearts and sappy grocery store tunes, but the true love of friendship. I’m falling in love with their kindness and compassion, their humor and easy smile, their curiosity about life and their respect for nature. Sometimes in the blush of new love I have to remind myself to look and really see my old loves. To gently wash off the dust and re-fall in love with them. To share a dance and celebrate their beautiful qualities recognizing and celebrating qualities I may not have noticed before.
I invite you to explore love in your relationships this week. Make space from work and to-dos to fall in love. Dad and daughter love, mom and son love, siblings and friends love, partner love. Grow your love muscle so you don’t need a reminder to say “I love you.” To give you a little push I'll end with a love quote from one of my favorite authors.
“I speak of a love that brings sight to the blind. Of a love stronger than fear. I speak of a love that breathes meaning into life, that defies the natural laws of deterioration, that causes us to flourish, that knows no bounds. I speak of the triumph of the human spirit over selfishness and death.” ― Jan-Philipp Sendker, The Art Of Hearing Heartbeats.
PS, I'm not really into postscripts but this is irresistible, and it may have popped into your head when you read my first sentence so here it is "What is Love, by Haddaway". Enjoy! If you’re interested in the song meaning Haddaway stated in an interview with Flavorwire that “...‘what is love’ needs to be defined by everyone by his own definition. It’s unique and individual. For me, it has to do with trust, honesty, and dedication.”**
* OED definition of Love: https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/110566?
** Flavorwire interview with Haddaway in 2015: https://www.flavorwire.com/504266/we-asked-haddaway-what-is-love-heres-what-he-said