On Life and Love
Sitting here this morning waiting for spring. No particular reason I should be hopeful. No green shoots burrowing up from the frozen mud. Patches of dirty snow paint the colorless landscape with dirty white spots. No reason to be hopeful at all. But life and love are eternal and so is hope. And though spring is weeks away, I feel spring in my soul today. And spring brings life and love – and so I muse.
Sometimes it seems to take forever for the clouds to disappear. A bitter winter wind often bites deep into the feathery and fragile early days of spring, gnawing and nipping and ripping at the heart and soul of them. Were it not for the calendar most of us wouldn’t even know that spring is only weeks away. Those more attuned to the ways of nature would notice the decreasing slant of the sun and notice too, the lengthening of the days. The clouds of winter will only disappear when the first breath of spring blows them away.
Love and life, both eternal and tenacious, seem to spring up in the most unlikely of places. A late winter walk into the still winter-dead woods its testimony. The drab brown-gray earth matted with leaves long dead and trees barren and still and lifeless may not seem much like a nursery of life, yet it is. From beneath the dead things, soon green things will grow. Soon the tips of the shoots of new life will pierce death as easily as the sun slices through the blue spring sky unhindered by clouds or the fear of being chased quickly away by shrill, howling winter winds. It seems even the sun is affected by the dead cold breath of winter.
The forest may be filled with dead and rotting things but I know that life still prevails. No matter that it would be easier for those tender green things to grow in more fertile and welcoming places. Life will spring up when and where it will and no amount of death can snuff it out or stop it. Death is powerless over life.
Death is powerless over love too. Love can be as tenacious as life and can spring forth in unlikely places and blossom even in the darkest of places. Life is always true, but love is seldom true. Many masqueraders come to us as love. They have different names but the all may feel like love. Love is gentle and love is kind. Love is patient and love prevails against every adversary – whether it comes from the hand of man or the hand of nature – love like life conquers all.
It’s not hard to see the living things whose spirits propel and compel them to sweep back the dark hand of winter’s death and wipe away the decay and sadness. The death and decay and all the rotten things will nigh be forgotten by the time June’s high sun casts slim shadows on the Earth below.
What is death in June but a fragile weary memory – a wisp of what was? It’s hard to see love, it’s hard to know its soul. You can feel love but you can’t see it and even when you feel love, you may not know it – you may not be able to separate it from the impostors who so often come creeping into our hearts, pretending to be love and making us do foolish and regrettable things.
Like life, love may lie dormant under dead and dark things until something, some wonderful magic awakens it and nurtures it and make it grow. Both love and life are as tenacious and tough as they are fragile and tender. One cold wind might kill the tender shoots of spring – stilling and killing the tiny buds of life. And so it is with love. Love needs to steel itself against cold dark days that will surely come. It needs to be watchful , for many thieves in disguise may come in the night and try to steal the soul of it. Love needs to be vigilant so that when dark days come that it does not fall victim to the night. Love taken for granted or untended may well fall to the temptations of pretenders who come dressed as love but may, in reality, be quite the opposite.
Sometimes love will ebb and flow like the ocean’s tides – washing up over you so completely you are awash in it and you can’t ignore it, and other times seeming but an echo on a distant shore. If it is truly love then the tide will come in again and wash over everything and make it new. And if it isn’t love then it was never love to begin with.
Love and live prevail against every adversary and neither ever really dies. There is no mistaking life; nothing else can dress itself up and pass itself off as life. Love has many pretenders and many things can deceive you, things disguised as love but more dangerous or foolish – and always more fleeting.
Love and life are sisters – tenacious and eternal, tender and fragile. Always meeting yet never meeting; always touching but never touching.
Life and love are as perennial as the seasons and as universal as the circling of the stars it the crystal sky above.