My heart loves immensely.
I love that my heart loves. It collects people, places, things, ideas. My heart is what makes me a writer and an artist.
Love ignites my curiosity and imagination. Love gives me ideas. Love lets me stretch myself, lets me be brave enough to walk into unknown places, consider wild ideas, and meet people who would otherwise scare me. Love shows me the way into creating things that didn’t exist before now.
Love includes. It includes generosity, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, joy, happiness, patience, wisdom.
Love includes loss.
These last three weeks I have been walking a pattern of love and loss. Back and forth, one then the other.
Among a layering of losses, the largest. The health of both my parents is failing deeply and rapidly. Knowing loss is coming prepares me some, but never enough. Knowing rises from my mind. Loss, for me, is all feeling. Not mind. Not word. Not logic. Not reason.
What surprises me is how my heart finds ways to accept loss, to grow large, and hold the pain in a cradle of love. It’s doing that now as I write.
I watch my parents experience what is happening to each other. They know what’s coming. Their pain and loss is terribly visible, but there is sixty years of love that cradles it.
It amazes me, heartens me to witness how bright is sixty years of love. It gives me the strength and courage to keep my heart fully open through all that is coming.
Loss hurts. My parents are in the deepest place of it right now. Yet it is not breaking them.
I think of our family’s home where I grew up, and the cedars, six of them, that grew by our front walk and at the side of the sundeck. I never knew the age of those trees. Dad figured maybe 150 years old. One hundred and fifty years cradled deep in the earth.
I watched the cedars shake and bend through every winter storm we had. Watched them give up branches, sometimes, to the winds that howled around them.
I am imagining I, my parents, my sister and brother are our beloved cedars. Standing in the storm. Shaking. Bending. Letting go. Our roots cradled deep in a sixty year love. A love so visibly bright it heals me even as the storm blows through.
You who are reading my words, I have never asked for anything from you, but I am asking now. The storm is huge and the wind strong. Please lend me your love, so that I may stand as my beautiful cedar trees, shaking and bending and letting go and never breaking.