Love is, as the old song reminds us, a many-splendored thing. From those first stirring in grade school of “I don’t hate him/her as much as the other boys/girls” through that first real crush. You know, the one that breaks your heart so bad you think you’re going to die?
Finally, we meet “the one.” The one that we think is going to last forever, who will be with us through it all: the jobs, the kids, the life… The one that will accept us in all our realities: our hobbies, our habits, our foibles….
Sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t.
But having even considered someone in that light is enough to make our own hearts pound madly. Our breath catches in our throats and we start to see beyond ourselves. And if we’re lucky, they feel the same.
Sometimes it lasts, and sometimes it doesn’t.
It can last for 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 years, or 20 years. It can end in a split, or in matching rocking chairs at the retirement home.
But, oh, while it lasts!
What great people we are when we’re immersed in love up to our eyeballs. How considerate, how thoughtful, how good we are.
Love, though, has a dark side, as well. Just like we do.
Unrequited love. Mad love. Crazy love.
That love can take our hearts and turn them inside out. Our hearts become so consumed with love that they will do anything to have it returned to them.
And then the bad stuff happens. No one can be made to love, and to try to do so will only drive them away, or worse: drive them to hate.
So please, on this day when we celebrate love, make sure you celebrate it with someone who feels it like you do.
And love them with all you’ve got. For however long it lasts.
For those days, minutes, hours… Those are precious, each and every one of them. Don’t waste them.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Shadow-dweller. For this one day, go ahead and bask in the light of love.
The Shadow will be here when you get back