This was supposed to be a Valentine's Day post, so please forgive my tardiness. However, I did feel that I needed to actually experience this Valentine's Day and then of course, take time to reflect because...well, without reflecting there really are no reflections, you follow? Let me preface by confessing that I didn't get roses, chocolates or even lucky this Valentine's Day, yet this holiday remains my favorite of the year (surpassing St. Patrick's Day for the 8th year in a row). (I do find it worth mentioning that what I did get was a full night's sleep, because my Valentine got up four times during the night with the girls' um, what were they... runny noses, cold arms, scary monster and the "just checkin' to make sure you're there" needs.)
As I reflected in uninterrupted silence for 2 hours (what I consider another V-day gift), during our weekend ski trip I found myself contemplating love. Love...I'm fascinated by it...the way men are fascinated by Angelina Jolie's lips and women are fascinated by fat-free, low cal foods that actually taste great... but, those are topics for another time. Those of you who know me well, know that my nightstand, light reading is almost always some kind of book about love and relationships. Husband/wife, mother/child, friendships...whatever. I find the dynamics and the intricacies of love in human relationships just...amazing and...bewildering. I suppose one reason for my fascination is that I just don't understand love. And in my attempt to try and understand, I've filled my head with far too many books to name regarding every aspect on the subject. I've read experts' opinions, Shakespeare's Sonnets, the Bible, and even the lyrics to all of Richard Marx's songs and yet love's essence still escapes me.
Perhaps this is because the English language uses the word 'love' so generically and would do better to follow a language like Hebrew that has different words for different types of love. I love God. I love cheese. I love my husband. I love my girls. I love freshly washed sheets. Not necessarily in that order and how could those all possibly be considered 'love'?
Maybe it's because love is a concept that has been so over-examined and dwindled away to nothing more than little sayings and song lyrics and greeting cards. All you need is... What is... I will always... It's a many splendored thing... It stinks...
But I think my lack of understanding love is that on this subject, my head and my heart haven't met yet.
L-O-V-E (according to Head): Head knows that love is necessary. And good. And healthy. And fun. Head appreciates the euphoric feeling of romantic love, the intricately woven bond of motherly love, and the warm glowing love between friends. However, Head thinks love is moody, unreliable and sometimes criminal. Head wishes it could control love more so that it didn't take up so much space in its gray matter. Head has seen love kill and destroy and hop in the car to make a non-stop drive to Florida with the intent to kidnap (and possibly do away with) its romantic rival. (Note: The astronaut woman who did this was not wearing an actual diaper...it was a piddle pack which makes a lot of sense on a long road trip. Additional note: Heart thinks that if you've never loved someone enough to hop in the car and make a non-stop drive to Florida with the intent to kidnap (and possibly do away with) your romantic rival... then you really haven't loved...) Head needs to understand love. She refuses to wrap around something that is so elusive.
L-O-V-E (according to Heart): Heart loves that the feeling of "falling in love" actually feels like spiraling backwards into infinity. Heart knows that the more it loves, the greater the capacity it has to love. Heart has a greater understanding of what God's unconditional love of His children is like after unconditionally loving two children of her own. Heart knows that love is more of a verb than a noun. Heart knows that it's usually best to leave love undefined and unharnessed than try to dissect and quantify it. Heart knows that love hurts, love exposes and love takes logic and throws it out the window. However, Heart also knows that love is the one thing that lets the light in, that moves mountains and makes us human. Heart knows that love comes over every Wednesday after back surgery with a meal and some quality time, that in its wide-eyed innocence, "I wuvvv you, Mommy," is totally genuine, that it changes flight plans to help cart two toddlers and a dog all the way from Korea, that it somehow grows deeper and wider even after 10 years together, and that once love even died on a cross so that she could have life everlasting. Heart knows that love makes it easy to forgive, easy to go without sleep and easy to put another before itself. Heart has been hurt and scarred, but she has also been loved more than she's deserved and sometimes even desired. Heart doesn't need to understand love. She doesn't even want to.
For the remaining years of my life, I have no doubt that Head will continue to try and unravel the mystery of love while Heart expands and grows, hurts and heals, loves and loses. In the meantime, I've done my part. I've made the introduction. Whether or not Head and Heart sort it out, well, that's up to them.