Seasons of Love
Around this time of year, the secular world prepares for an influx of chocolates, palettes of red and pink, roses, and a scurrying to secure both a date and restaurant reservation for February 14th. While we remember that Valentine’s Day originated as a pagan holiday, one can’t help asking the question, “What’s love?” Is love receiving heart-shaped cards with corny rhymes? Is love proclaiming the auspicious words, “I love you” before the other person has a chance to say it first? Is love getting breakfast in bed, a plate adorned with flower petals and champagne flutes? Maybe. Maybe Not.
There is a Jewish “holiday” of love. On Tu b’Av, unmarried women would dress in white and dance in the vineyards, hoping to seek a match. It was the earliest form of speed dating. Dressed in white to help the suitor relate past a person’s status; reminding the suitor that love is a personal, deep connection between two people that takes hard work, effort and time to develop. I certainly believe in the concept, “Love at first sight.” But more than that, I believe in the concept, “Love is continuing to truly see and accept someone’s soul, over and over again.”
I remember my husband once telling me that of all my outfits, he likes me best in sweatpants. I was outraged. Sweatpants? Each day, I dress up for work in nice attire. He sees me at galas, parties, black tie affairs. Sweatpants? He smiled and said, “I like you best when you are exactly yourself.” It isn’t that he doesn’t appreciate the fancier clothes. He just appreciates the little moments where conversation and connection are all that matters.
What’s love? It might be a hot cup of coffee gifted by your beloved, exactly the way you like it. It might be a fantastic laugh shared by two people who in that moment, truly understand each other. It might be an embrace just when you need it.
However, you define it, I pray that in your examples of love, you continue to see and accept someone’s soul, over and over again.