I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Let's talk about love

Mama and me

 I of course have no conscious memory of this time in my life, when I was an infant surrounded and embraced by my mother's love. But I still carry within my heart the effect of that love, because although now I am old and Mama is gone, love endures forever.

Growing up, I was not conscious of the importance of being loved and cherished, but a person is harmed when they don't receive it. Instead of being deprived of love, I was the center of the universe. I am sure that I was a tyrant, for the first years of my life, since I didn't have to share that love with anybody else. Then my sister was born, and I actually had to begin to learn that reality meant sharing, and even beginning to expand my horizons to include loving my sister. Now I cannot imagine my world without her. 

Love doesn't have to spread itself thin when one loves more people; it grows and expands. My heart fills with love when I think of those who are part of my life. In fact, when I started to think about writing a post about love,  I could feel myself relax and smile inside, and it reminded me of the healing power of love, both given and received. Love is a medicine cabinet all by itself.

I watched the past week of the impeachment trial on TV, not completely, but with the sound off and listening when something would appear of interest to me. It was a hard thing to watch those videos of what actually happened inside our Capitol on January 6th, but it was (in my view) important to chronicle the entire event and hope that we can keep it from ever happening again, no matter the outcome of the trial. I felt real love and admiration for so many heroes of that day, and was surprised and impressed with the skill that the impeachment managers displayed in producing a coherent timeline. But I'm glad it's over and hopefully we can begin to look forward instead of backward. President Biden is certainly making some good choices, in my opinion, and once we get that new stimulus package into the hands of the American people, I believe we will be in much better shape.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. —Martin Luther King, Jr.

It's interesting to me that we have created a day out of our calendar that is dedicated to love: today.  February 14th is St. Valentine's Day, which celebrates a Roman Catholic saint, but there is more to the story.

The medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer often took liberties with history, placing his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. He links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day—an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention. The poem refers to February 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate. (from History)

 Well, I'm glad we don't have a day dedicated to hate! Just as I feel such healing powers when I think about love, I feel just the opposite when I experience hatred, for anything or anybody. It's the feeling that fills my heart with awfulness and causes my blood pressure to rise. I try very hard to stay with love, or at least acceptance, for everything and everybody as they are, not as I'd like them to be.

I am still trying very hard to get the vaccine so that I can be protected from the coronavirus, but there is such a shortage in our county that I'm letting it go and hoping that I can stay safe until such time as there is no problem receiving the jab(s). My doctor says that they will let me know when I can schedule a shot, and I keep checking the sources I have, but so far, no luck. In our county, they are giving the vaccine to those with underlying conditions and those at least 87 years old. I'm not there yet. 

We had a snowstorm here yesterday, and I didn't get out for my usual walk, so today I am hoping that I'll be able to bundle up and get outdoors. My friend John picked me up in his heavy-duty truck yesterday to take me to the coffee shop, and he will do the same again today. It's nice to know I don't have to try to drive on slippery and snowy streets. I do appreciate having his help, and that he is willing. I could of course make coffee here, but I need to get outside, even if I cannot do much quite yet. And I enjoy his company.

My morning routine is almost always to head to the coffee shop after getting out of bed, but Sundays require some time spent writing this post, first thing. My tea is now gone, and my dear partner is still sleeping next to me, and I can feel that it's getting to be time to move into the rest of my day. I am thinking about you, my dear friends, and hoping that you will find some way to appreciate and love those in your own circle, both present and past, and have some chocolate, too! I know I will. Until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things. Be well.


gigi-hawaii said...

Happy Valentine's Day! Aloha from Hawaii.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Happy Valentines Day! So happy John picks you up on bad weather days. I watched the weather channel yesterday my baby brothers house in Oregon was damaged by trees falling from the ice storm. :( He is without electricity as are so many others in this terrible weather. We are warm and cozy here Say Hi to Smart Guy!

ApacheDug said...

DJan, your photos always surprise me for some reason. I can’t help but think “What buried treasure is she going to show us next week?” Your mom & you... beautiful. And I liked what you wrote about love. I’m not surprised that we all need it, but I am surprised how some of us try so hard to shy away from it. I felt much as you did this past week, watching parts here & there of the impeachment proceedings. I knew it was pretty much a lost cause for justice, which made those managers even more impressive. I just want to look ahead now and be thankful we have decent people like Joe Biden & Kamala Harris running things. I hope you have a nice Valentine’s Day and loving week ahead :^)

Linda Reeder said...

It's 7:50 on this dark, cold Sunday morning and it has started to snow here again south of Seattle. I am happy with the snow, since we don't have to go anywhere. I don't look forward to the cold rain to follow, but it will be a blessing to have the snow melting the the roads clear by Tuesday morning when people will have to travel again.
Love. I sometimes think I am lacking the gene for love. It's not an emotion that I feel deeply very often, outside of my immediate family. But then most of my life I haven't really felt loved either. I did not have your loving childhood. But caring, that is an emotion I can feel. Empathy, sympathy, understanding, those I do feel, and I hope they are all part of love.
I hope you have a lovely day. Maybe I'll have my loving partner help me get back outside again before the snow turns to slush.
Happy Valentine's Day.

Margaret said...

I made a mocha and that will be my chocolate for the day. Our hearts are big and have room for many people and things. I managed to get my parents the shots, but worry about procuring their second dose. I hope it's not a free for all like it was finding their first shot. Too stressful.

Marie Smith said...

It takes a lot of love to bring up a caring, loving person. Funny how we don’t think of it as such a big deal when we are doing it. It is just natural to us if we have experienced the same. Enjoy your day, Jan. Take care. Hope you get the shot soon.

Elephant's Child said...

Love grows the more it is used and spread doesn't it? I suspect the same is true of hate and have made my choice.
I am thrilled that you can meet up with John again.
Have a healthy, happy day - and I do hope you can get your shot(s) soon. Mine is at least a month away I think.

Linda Myers said...

I have learned to love. I was raised by conscientious parents, but the love part wasn't much a part of it. Fortunately, I've had wonderful role models, and now I am able to love many people. And I'm a grateful recipient as well.

Happy Valentine's Day, DJan!

Anvilcloud said...

So maybe Chaucer invented Valentine's Day. I think that is splendid.

Arkansas Patti said...

You do look like your mother and that is such a sweet picture. Like you I was raised never questioning whether I was loved or not. Think I was spoiled rotten and enjoyed every minute as the baby of the family.
I do hope you can get your shot soon and get started on the protection process. I did get my first one and can only say the relief was physical.
Stay safe and warm.

Gigi said...

I adore that picture of you and your mother (she is stunning!). I agree with Elephant's Child about love growing the more it is spread.

I did not watch the trial and am utterly disappointed with the result. But I expect the terms of some will meet a swift end in the next vote.

William Kendall said...

I expect it'll be some months before vaccines are available to me.

Betsy said...

The photo of you and your mother is beautiful. Our pastor told the story of St. Valentine this morning and I found it fascinating.
I'm glad you had a ride in the warm truck for coffee. We're having very cold weather here too. We have had no running water in the RV since Thrusday because the parks hydrant froze. Hubby has been outside today filling our onboard tank with help from friends from church. That way we'll be able to flush the toilet and wash dishes. We have been going to his office to shower every morning before others arrive. Otherwise we're snug as a bug in the RV and our pipes, etc. seem to be working fine. Light is on the horizon as we're supposed to be above freezing by the end of the week here in Washington.
Take care and stay safe.

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, While reading today’s post I felt like I was reading a letter from a great friend. And, of course, we have been virtual friends now for several years, following each other’s blog. I wish there was a way I could take your post today and put it on the front page of the New York Times. But then, you would have so many followers it might crash the internet. :-) Seriously, this is a wonderful view of the power of love. And your photo, at the beginning … that has to be one of the sweetest ever … what a treasure. Your post puts a smile on my face and just makes me feel better … sort of like what you described as your feeling as you started thinking about writing. And I love this: “Love is a medicine cabinet all by itself.” That’s just perfect! Thank you for writing and sharing. I send you and SG these wishes: take good care, be well, be safe. John

Galen Pearl said...

What a week, right? Valentine's, snow, end of trial, power outages, and more. Love above all. My grandson was snowed in with me for two days. Then today I found out that my sons' group home has been without power for over 24 hours, so no light or heat. So my daughter managed to dig her car out of the snow, come to my house, take her son to a friend's, and then drive me to pack up my sons and bring them home with me. A four hour adventure. Not the chocolate and flowers kind of love, but watching my daughter hold her 35 year old brother's hand because he was afraid of slipping on the ice, and knowing that she had other plans today that she dropped to help me and her brothers out, made me think that this is real love.

Rita said...

Happy belated Valentine's Day.
That is the sweetest picture of you and your mom!
So sad about the impeachment trial. But the focus now is on the relief package and covid.
Have a great week.

Rian said...

Happy Valentine's DJan! Love that pic of you and your mom. I was also lucky to have a wonderful family and childhood... although I don't have any pictures of me that young since I was the youngest of 3. That first child gets tons of pictures, the second a bit less, and by the third, not so much. At least that's been my experience (even with my own 3).
And we are also still waiting to be contacted for the vaccine. Doesn't matter at the moment as the roads are icy, (although it has stopped snowing), and the temps are in the single digits - so we couldn't get out to get the shot even if we were contacted.

Friko said...

Love grows and expands. You are so right. The more we love the more capacity for loving we have.
I find it hard to love my enemies, perhaps I am not alone in that?

I have a few lines about a different aspect of Valentine’s Day in my last post; Chaucer may have invented the love aspect but the ancient Romans already celebrated the days of the 14/15/16th. In a slightly more rambunctious way.