Saturday, February 14, 2009

Let's Do It

"You have to fall in love every day."

So said my friend Jackson. This was seven years ago when he was my coach in a leadership training program. It was excellent coaching, even if I couldn't live up to it at the time. I wanted to. His words inspired me. Probably because they were more than words. Jackson knew whereof he spoke: he was the words. I knew they were words he lived by and that they--he--could be trusted.

Today I find his words more potent than ever. It's never been so clear to me that no matter our circumstances, there is always, everywhere, the opportunity to fall in love.

There's the warm softness of the cashmere lining your favorite gloves, and loving hugs. There's the cat's paws crossed for sleep. How orange zest envelops as you tear the peel.

There are shoes littering the floor doffed by kids safe at home. The faintest ticking of snow as it strikes window, stem, stone. The hot cocoa in your hands that warms you to the bone.

There is frankincense and peppermint tea, bath oil, the aqua sea. First light, the last peep. The lengthening days, the traveling geese.

Yesterday, I tuned into the Eagle Cam at Norfolk Botanical Garden to check on the latest happenings around the nest. I was startled to find the tree in near darkness; for a moment, I had forgotten the time difference. But as on inauguration day last month, I seized the opportunity, and proceeded to witness sunrise in Norfolk--all the way from Dublin, Ireland. What's not to love about that!? And then there are the wonders called "wireless" and "Internet" that made it all possible.

Last night I found myself spontaneously doing something I haven't done since I was a girl. Anyone observing might think I was bored, just passing the time. Au contraire. It was a "doodling" sort of impulse that had me smoothing out the wrinkles in a square of decorated foil I had unwrapped from a fancy Christmas cookie. While I worked, I found myself thinking that someone had come up with festive design of colorful lines. It charmed me to think that someone, somewhere took this time and trouble, that someone else somewhere (or maybe a computer, I don't know), amidst a current of cutting corners and costs, took the time and care to wrap the cookie: for no practical reason apparent. For the sole purpose, it would seem, of! The cookies were already beautiful, decorated with chocolate drizzling and such; they needed no ornament to appeal. But they were ornamented just the same, and I found this sweet. It's those gestures made, that extra something extended by one for another whom he or she will never meet, that particularly charm me.

Charm? It's a glow, really. A melting I feel in the center of the chest. In, presumably, the heart. What is Love, what is "falling in love" if not a matter of the heart? It's a willingness to be touched, to open, to receive. There is contact made, a lifting off. Sometime, there is exhilaration, not unlike the exhilaration that comes with abandoning your footing to zip line across a crevasse--eeeeeeeeeee!

Food, flower, friend or "foe": find it! Especially on those days when you're sure there's no love in sight, there IS and it's just waiting to come in.

And how great is it that we don't need a lover to fall in love! So whadya say? How about now!

A few months ago, I fell in love with a Pad Thai at the Thai House of Dalkey. Tonight, I'm going back for more.


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