Yes, falling in love should be exhilarating! Love should spin you around, lift you up, it should change your perspective to be broader and fuller because you suddenly see things with two sets of eyes. Love should make you intermittently hear choirs of angels, adagios, and feel renewed appreciation for everything around you. I think that love found in ‘Far Away’ from Nickelback set to the images of a version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is nearly perfect. Falling in love should make you laugh and cry with joy and without reason and should be like the shock of winter’s snow melt in a stream touching your skin. The water should be your metaphor – ever changing but of one body that finds contentment, rest and renewal in a still pool between rocks and as it is pulsing, rushing, in falls of foam and white against grey and brown and green – rock, earth, moss and fern – before continuing its long journey to the sea. Love is like that – a reflection of our truest selves, a torrent, capable of quenching thirst, refreshing the body and the soul, infinitely beautiful in all of its forms and environments.
And just why should falling in love be like this? Passion isn’t sustainable in this purest form – there is always a reset button recalibrating our ardor. Because what remains after the heady exhilaration and the adrenaline rush of seeing your lovers’ face, satiating ourselves in tasting their mouth and skin, feeling their arms close about you in passionate embrace ebbs is truly what love is, the miracle of sustaining our being when the more pragmatic aspects of simply living threaten to swamp you.
I was listening to NPR earlier today – on Friday’s the StoryCorps feature often manages to evoke tears for me. But today a man and a woman were speaking of their love and to summarize their relationship: “When a guy is happily married, no matter what happens at work, no matter what happens in the rest of the day,” Danny said, “there’s a shelter when you get home, […] Being married is like having a color television set; you never want to go back to black and white.”
My neighbor Kanika’s husband ‘brought her flowers for no reason’ and I thought – ‘oh, how lovely’ and was genuinely grateful to bear witness to his intention.
When we see these small expressions of love between others – the hope and beauty and timelessness of loving becomes an action and a catalyst for making our own life richer.
For me, the expression of love might be my man knowing how I take my tea but also when I might prefer hot milk with Demerara sugar, vanilla and Scotch and a marshmallow or two on top suddenly appearing as I write – a physical expression of love so loud that no words are necessary that comes with knowledge of living together in a state of awareness. Or, that my favorite flavor of ice cream is peppermint as long as it has big pieces of candy melting into swirly, gooey red and white and sometimes green against pure white cream, or that my ice cold feet find might welcome refuge against his body already warming our bed. And it’s not that I don’t appreciate cut flowers but a man that truly loves me will understand that the $100 he spends on a bouquet goes a lot further when it’s seeds and bulbs or compost for my garden (yes, I get excited about compost).
Why should falling in love be exhilarating?; because it is memory sustenance. We can draw upon the story of falling love easier to explain how we came to love someone, why we chose them, accepted their proposal, decided to share the raising of children (if that be part of the equation) with others – because I fear that no one wants to hear a story of ‘practical considerations’ to that of falling in breathlessly in love, overcoming all odds to find one another, even as we all desire to enjoy the perfect intimacy of hearing their sleeping breaths inches away from our ear.
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