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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What is Love?

 In the movie Braveheart, Nicolette, a handmaid to the Princess of England, describes love in this way:  "A magistrate wished to capture him (William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson), and found he had a secret lover. So he cut the girl's throat to tempt Wallace to fight, and fight he did. Knowing his passion for his lost love, they next plotted to take him by desecrating the graves of his father and brother, and setting an ambush at the grave of his love. He fought his way through the trap and carried her body to a secret place. Now that's love, no? "

 I would say yes, that is love, but most of us do not have the opportunity to express our love in such a dramatic fashion.  Most of us express our love in thousands of ordinary, sometimes unseen, ways.

So, in honor of the people I love and of Valentine's Day, here is my definition of love.

Love is a kiss from your spouse in the morning;
A running hug from your children;
Love is a picture taped to your bedroom wall by your daughter;
Hearing your son say his prayers with his mother.

Love is a pair of worn out boots in a box in the attic
That you wore working your way through college;
It is a box of love letters;
A home movie.

Love is a family Bible with the record of births and deaths
and clippings between the pages.
Love is getting home late at night
and seeing the lights of your home shining through the windows.
Love is a warm fire in winter
and marshmallows roasting on coat hangers.
Love is hearing your children laugh
and knowing you made them laugh.

It is the way the wind blows trees;
The smell of a flower;
The touch of her hand.
The way she smiles;
The stars at night.
The moon in a black night sky.
A whispered word in the silent darkness.

Love is a science project involving insects and spiders;
A puppy with brown eyes brought home unexpectedly.
Love is the firm voice of a parent;
The denial of a privilege; a grounding.
It is doing the right thing
when you know it would be easier to let it slide.
Love is saying no.
Saying yes.
Saying maybe.
Love is letting go;
and holding on;
and easing up;
and bearing down.

Love is hurting when someone you care about hurts;
Crying when a friend cries;
Taking food to the home of someone who needs it.

Love is working thankless hours on unseen projects
and never being recognized but continuing to volunteer.

It is hearing your name in a conversation
and not worrying about what is being said.
Love is being seen and accepted at your very worst.

Love is a long walk;
A summer day that will never end.
Rain on a Saturday afternoon;
Two cups of coffee on the table;
A piece of cheese toast cut in half.

Love is the first good day of fall
when the air is crisp.
It is teaching your child to ride a bicycle
and seeing him wobble across the parking lot for the first time.
Love is a bumpy ride;

It is a hug when you need it.
A hug when you don't need it;
The holding of hands;
The sharing of small moments
And the caring of a lifetime.

Copyright ©2013 by Eric Lanier.  The right to download and store output of the materials from this website is granted for your personal use only, and materials may not be produced in any edited form. Any other reproduction or editing by any means, mechanical or electronic, without the express written permission of Eric Lanier is strictly prohibited. For additional information, contact Eric Lanier at ericelanier@gmail.com

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