As James A. Baldwin once said:
“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war, love is growing up.”
Once upon a time, I was a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. Some thirty plus years ago, when my husband and I first dated, we were just two young boys sitting on a rock along a river bank. I knew so little about love: the depths in which one can love, the complications of love, the power of love.
I wasn’t even old enough to buy alcohol, and yet I was attempting to take up the great task of love.
It would be my first, since one does not fall in love with their parents, their siblings, or other family members. You grow up loving your family, even if one day you fall out of love with them.
Loving a spouse is something one must learn, feel, and continue to believe in. In the beginning we think it’s easy, we love everything about the person. This is because we often know so little about the person who dwells within the body in front of us.
In our early days, weeks, months, and even years, our days were filled with romance, and the nights, filled with fireworks. In the beginning, it was cute how he squeezed the toothpaste from the middle of the tube, adorable how he made the worst cheesecake in the world, and I still ate it with a smile. I was smitten with this beautiful being before me.
Over time, for Brian and I, our romance isn’t as intense as it once was, nor do the fireworks climb as high as they use to, or as often as they did. Now, our love is a bond between us; like the roots attached to the trunk of a tree. There is a depth of understanding of the other person, sometimes even more so than they understand themselves. There’s an appreciation that you can fully, and openly show your ugliness, and still be loved.
As James Baldwin said:
“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does.”
In your twenties, one cannot possibly comprehend the profundity of this statement. But with age comes wisdom.
In May 2020, I’ll be releasing my next book which entails a love that blooms in childhood and spans over decades. FAR AWAY, is the story of two boys, one summer, and a love so grand that in their adulthood, neither can forget the day they met. An imprint on their hearts that even with all that life threw at them, it kept their love alive.
In closing, I wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s day. Whether it is your spouse, boyfriend, your children, grandchildren, or even your cat, may your love radiate from your heart and flow within the blood that runs through your veins, beyond your control.