love is the voice under all silences,
the hope which has no opposite in fear;
the strength so strong mere force is feebleness:
the truth more first than sun more last than star
— e e cummings
Today is Valentine’s Day. For many, the day is all about romantic love, which is wonderful and worthy of celebration. However, I want to think about LOVE in its broadest sense, in its many and varied meanings. How, after all, can one little word carry so many ideas, so many definitions, in its four little letters? As the poet, Michael Blumenthal, says in “The Word Love“: a word/I have uttered time and time again/and now hesitate to say at all–/being, as it is, always too much/to stand for what we really mean,/and never enough.
For years, now, the song “Love’s the Only House” by Martina McBride, has been a sort of theme song for me. Not because I know how to love better than anyone else, but because I firmly believe that right action (toward self and others) flows from love. This song reminds me that, every day, I am offered the opportunity to choose from a place of love…or from somewhere else (fear, anger, selfishness, etc.). When I choose from love, I may not choose perfectly, but I do remain whole.
Happy Valentine’s Day!