Friday, February 14, 2014

to declare one's love... and to receive that love

I sit by myself on this Valentine's night sipping on a glass of wine and eating a dinner of buttered toast with raspberry jam, a full moon bathing the trees in wondrous light out my home office window. I am content, more than content, bordering have this time to myself to write and contemplate the bounty that is my life in the here and now.

Tonight, my husband is engaged in a gift of volunteerism, partaking in a scripted play of Where the Wild Things Are for our church's Parish Camp. I can imagine him fully engaged to the awe and amusement of both children and parents, as he helps in a capacity for love and giving that he excels at. I'm not sure he knows the gift he has given me... to allow me the space to be here at home, alone, thinking of him and rejoicing in who he is after these 18+ years of marriage. If there is anything I have no doubt of, it is that he loves me deeply.

This morning my son, Slade, rushed into our bedroom urging me to come to the dining room post haste. A bit bleary eyed, and with gray hair sticking up in all directions, I made my way there to see a vision of boxes of chocolates and cards at each of our places at the table. My son declared that life is good, and I agreed. What better way to awaken than to find chocolates and a card at my place at the table. My daughter, Eleanor, awakened by the sounds of joy, made her way out into the fray taking in the surprise at her place, reveling in her Daddy...the Bestower of Chocolate.

Valentine's Day has become a Hallmark card, but perhaps it is good to stop and mark a day to declare one's love... and to receive that love. In this time of life when my body is moving to the side of aged over young, I am incredibly blessed to have a husband who takes aging in stride and believes it is a natural passage. It feels especially good on mornings when I look in the mirror and can't see past the shock of my own ripening senescence.

My age is as a lusty winter, frosty but kindWilliam Shakespeare

I have known many kinds of love in my life. Certainly the love I feel for my children is all consuming and constant, stretching me to depths I couldn't have imagined.  Yet, there is something to be said for the love between long term partners. Love ebbs and flows and grows stagnant, but if you're fortunate, a fresh snowfall can bring a rush of clean water to feed your soul...

Photo credit: Illustration by Maurice Sendak, from his book "Where the Wild Things Are".

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