Friday, March 12, 2010

Love's Flutes

One of the first sounds I heard when I moved to the house where I am now living was wind--or so I'd thought. The breathy whhhhhhhhh I'd heard wasn't wind, exactly. It was the sound of wind rushing through the needles of a stately white pine that marks the north corner of the house. I was probably out hanging the wash to dry on the back lines when the thought first struck me that wind is silent. Wind needs something to rub against to make a sound.

I've grown intimate with the sound of wind through pine needles and the scent of pine pitch over sixteen years of living here. I loved these from the start and am no less enchanted by them now, or by this tree's periodic gifts of cones and boughs. Yet today, I heard something more in its whispering.
Love is like that, I thought: invisible but for what it traverses.

's no wonder we get confused sometimes and mistake the what for the Love. Wind needs objects to make sound. Love needs the same. It needs vessels, situations, manifestations-- something to "rub against." It rubs against you, my beloved, and I say "I love you." Love rubs against me and you say you love me. But that is forgetting that Love has no scent or taste or sound. Love rises as us. Love rises in us. But not for something or someone. The flute shapes the wind and makes music. But where is the flute without wind?

Hafiz and Rumi--you two refined and precious flutes for Love's wind: I understand you now more than ever. I see wind thanks to the pines--and all else that it rubs against. I see Love thanks to the beloved, and all else It rubs against. My beloved is a gift of Love just as the whhhhhhh and the fragrance and cones of the pine are gifts of wind. I open for my beloved and my beloved opens for me Love's gilded, gem-studded castle doors. Thanks to this gift that we are, one to the other, we are allowed to dwell there, to admire Its landscapes, to breathe Its incense, to hear and accompany Its song. Together, we live Love, praise and reveal Love. That is reason enough for devotion.

And "I love you" grows, expands to "
I know Love by the grace of you." And there is nothing confused about that.


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