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A close-up of a newly opened delphinium flower (Summer 2013).

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Time to Love is Now

There was a time in my life when I thought that love has its natural place and time. I think  the Bible's  "there is a time for everything" quote came strongly on me. But that was when I was younger. Now I know better. 
The time to love is now, this very moment. I want to utter this in all its simplicity along with its urgency. Do not wait until the persons you love are no longer around to show them you care.  Or you may not be around anymore to tell them you care. Living is meant for loving. And if living is now, loving is also NOW.
This essay is not going to discuss the problematic level of why we love, whom to love, and its justifications. This essay intends to transcend the level of analysis. Love is an urgent matter. It has to be attended to NOW.
We are just human--we want to love well but we are full of paranoia. What if they will not love me back? What if I'd get hurt?  What if they' will not love me back? What will people say if.....and the list of "what ifs" could go on and on. So we retain the mask of counterfeit security, afraid of the risks, too proud to be "wounded" by love. That is why we do not love or cannot love.
Perhaps we need to be careful, I admit. We cannot afford unwanted pregnancies, don't welcome marital infidelities, separations, and the tearing apart of the inner self that accompanies loving. We cannot bear to wallow in self-pity in case we are betrayed by a friend or  by a lover.  
A close friend of mine died about a month ago. She was 89 years old. Her frail body could no longer contain her soul, a soul so animated and thirsty for living. I never got to talk to her before she died. I kept telling myself I'd see her. When I learned that she has died, I felt the ache of wasted afternoons when I could have visited her and told her she's a beautiful human being and that I'll always remember and love her. Now she's gone.  And no amount of languishing on my part is going to bring back those lost moments I could have spent with her "because I was so busy"--the universal justification for delaying our loving.
We risk more if we wait. Life is so uncertain. The exquisite bloom of the rose will be gone very soon. The father you never miss because he's been around a lot will one day be gone. We have the nasty attitude of not wanting what is there and wanting what isn't there. Should we wait until what we want is no longer there, for us to begin to want it?
Love is not expensive, you know, unless you want to make it so. It only takes some kind words, a squeeze in the hand, a pat in the back, a brief phone call, a short letter. At times, love invites us simply to listen, to understand, and to share our inner world with with whoever needs us to be "there." At most, love demands our time, our feelings, our mind, and even our soul. These are the rare moments when love is best expressed and genuinely received. And unless we are capable of the small and big responses in love, we remain solitary creatures.
I remember having read an article about love. Although the author's name is forgotten, his words remained: "The second most difficult thing in the world is to live, to love, and to grow with somebody.  But the most difficult thing is to live alone."

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