Cory and Sarah are schoolmates. They are both sixteen and they think they are in love because they feel warm and fuzzy when they are together and anxious when they are apart. Feelings can be part of love but not necessarily the evidence of love. A sixteen-year-old cannot possibly understand love because they have not experienced the emptiness of its fullness.
Love is more than buttering his morning toast while bluebirds sing on the window sill. Love is staying up with him all night closely monitoring his fever while he is vomiting. Love is more than gazing into his eyes and dreaming of tomorrow. Love is whispering, “Thank you” while watching the light in his eyes fade to gray, realizing that you will only have yesterday.
They say that love is eternal but if so, how then does someone fall in love for to fall in love would mean love has a beginning. To be eternal means there is no beginning and no end and for love to be so, it must continue to fold upon itself, the end touching the beginning touching the end. Falling in love is merely a statement of intent to join the eternal process of life and death, of joy and grief. Only those who are aquainted with death can appreciate life and only those who have experienced the wasteland of grief can fully appreciate love.
We think the ground upon which we stand is the whole of the universe yet it is only one step in our journey if or when we take another step. Therein is life. Love, on the other hand, is not a journey; love is an eternal presence of which we can participate and we cannot begin to understand the purpose until we have experienced the folding upon itself.
Cory and Sarah have stumbled upon one square centimeter of the universe and subsequently believe they understand the whole. Come and see me in a few years when your rainbow turns to soot and your unicorn has been slaughtered upon the altar of dissolution and we will talk about love. Come and see me after you have crawled through the valley of the shadow of death together and then we will reflect upon the meaning of life. Come and see me after you have experienced the savage emptiness of grief and we will sit quietly together.
In the beginning (sort of) there was Bear [Chow], Beaumont [Bijon] and Fancy [Cocker].
Sergeant arrived. (rescued chain dog)
Bear left. (age and hip displasia)
Beaumont left. (old, blind and tired)
Fancy left. (ruptured tumor)
Ruger arrived. (rescued – starved)
Annie and Duchess arrived. (rescued – abused)
Sergeant left. (old, tired and down in the joints)
For a while it was Ruger, Annie and Duchess.
Jazz arrived. (rescued – abused and beaten – Angels brought her to our house)
Jazz left. (cancer)
Mumford/Georgia arrived. (rescued – starved, organs shutting down, enlarged heart)
Sadie arrived. (rescued – abused, thrown from moving vehicle)
Sadie left. (broken spine)
Ruger left. (cancer)
Buddy arrived. (rescued – heart worm)
Annie left. (cancer)
Now it is Duchess, Georgia and Buddy.
Notice the pattern, love and life folding upon itself?
The Duchess understands love, the joy of friends, loss, grief, new friends and more loss.
Ruger experienced the circle of love and so did Miss Annie, for others and themselves.
Buddy was rescued, settled into his new home, endured heart worm treatment, fell in love and lost the love of his life, all within a matter of a few months. He understands love more than Cory and Sarah do for he has experienced a fullness and love’s folding upon itself.
The Missus and I have believed that we understood love so many different times in our lives but do we really even understand it now? I think not, for even though we have crawled through the valley of the shadow of death together and for others many times, we are still learning and growing. One thing we have learned is that love is more than enduring and experiencing for ourself, our spouse and family. Sharing love with others is the only way love can continue to fold upon itself and move us closer to our destination.
19 For the fate of humans and the fate of animals are the same: As one dies, so dies the other; both have the same breath. There is no advantage for humans over animals,
for both are fleeting.
20 Both go to the same place, both come from the dust, and to dust both return.
Be part of God’s eternal garden of love. The folding upon itself will be hard on your heart at times but that is how a garden grows.