“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”
Love takes many forms and each one is extraordinary. The love for a spouse, a newborn baby, for an aging parent, a neighbor, a pet, the ocean, a good red wine, all can be experienced on a deep level. However, this month, February, causes us to focus on Valentine’s Day and the romantic love called Eros, complete with the image of cupid. The above quote from Audrey Hepburn sums up my feelings about love, and I’ll add, don’t let anything come between.
We’ve had two adult children find and marry their soul mates within the last two years, with one proposal at the dock in front of our house. The joy and excitement is contagious and reminds all who enter their world, of the romantic electricity of new love. The flurry of wedding planning, preparations, and execution was indeed a privilege and joy to be a part of.
But what about “old” love? My former in-laws and my children’s grandparents, who I love dearly, will celebrate their 70th anniversary this August. They eloped at 17 and 18 years old, complete with a ladder up to the window. Once so earnest with passion, these latter years hold bits and pieces of memories no one can share but them. While visiting last summer, Mom looked at Dad lying in his hospital bed and smiled as she said, “No matter how old he gets, he’s still the most handsome man”. As I repeated to him what she said he gave up a boyish, cheesy grin. Much of my memories of them include bickering in the kitchen, as he got into her space and tried to help, or control. But these are sweet memories, and though I do not know who will pass first, I have no doubt that the other will shortly follow. The beautiful slow burn of lasting love.
I was led to paint a seemingly so cliché’ picture of “lovers in the rain,” and yet there is something so timeless about a kiss in the rain. Who can’t remember that moment, or moments in time, when you were left breathless? Having some trouble completing this work, I sat to write a poem. One phrase led to the name of the piece, “One Breathless Moment in Time”, and le voil`a, there it was! A memory captured forever, stored deep, uncorrupted by other’s thoughts, views or opinions…all mine. Isn’t love cliché’ after all, though somehow without ever losing its originality? Don’t we all fall hard when we go, and shouldn’t this be commemorated? My tribute to love.
Though it may be the ardent mountaintop experiences of love that reverberate the most during the honeymoon stage, what we quickly appreciate is the minutiae of thoughtful acts toward each other that make a relationship thrive with a steady burn of love. Like the way my husband turns the kettle on each morning, coaxing me out of my cocoon of warmth to face the world. Or how on the second of every month, at home or far away on a business trip, he greets me first thing in the morning with “Happy Anniversary”.
If you are fortunate enough to have a “Breathless Moment in Time”, celebrate, remember, relive and revive it as you hold on to what matters most!
Happy Valentine’s Day!