Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love With a Capital L

Me and Leslie in
Park City, UT, 2000-ish
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 16 years ago, I met and became friends with a lovely girl named Leslie.  Though we today live more than 1,000 miles from one another and see each other only every year or two when the wedding of a mutual friend brings us together, we remain connected thanks to the wonder of email and Facebook and our respective blogs.

Leslie is an incredible writer, and when our friend Beth (who also happens to be an fantastic writer) became engaged, Beth asked Leslie to write a reading for the wedding.  As Leslie explained it, Beth suggested she write about "love and God and life and adventure and family".

Leslie, Beth, and me on the front
porch of our shared house in
Iowa City, IA, 2000-ish
I honestly can't imagine a more difficult writing assignment than the one Beth handed Leslie.  It's tough enough to write about those five topics individually, but to write a piece that marries them together in a way that does each justice, honors the love the couple shares, and invites the couple's closest friends and family to be a part of that that's a tall order.

Leslie's reading was perfect.  Her words touched to me - and many guests in attendance - in a way that very few wedding readings have ever done, and I wanted to share it with you today in honor of this holiday of love.  Here is "Love With a Capital L".

Here are some thoughts on Love.

They correspond entirely to my thoughts on God, as really, I believe that just as some people have named Him a him, and a few others have named the same Him a her, and even more have come up with other names with which to identify, it mostly comes down to language and our great desire to put words to this great Love-Force and all of its manifestations. Correct grammatical expression is important and, for me, this love has a capital L. In fact, Love with a Capital L does well to identify this guiding force, this supreme being, this ridiculously generous, and supremely devoted entity that gives and takes and then gives some more.

Love with a Capital L: It's why we are here right now sharing all the beauty of this moment. And it's the precious promise of every moment yet to come.

On some days, like today, this Love shows up a noun, capitalized and spectacular, dramatic and nearly palpable with promise and beauty. Our experience of it is grand and thrilling. Other days Love's presence is quiet and steady, and only as dressed-up as drying the dishes so that someone else doesn't have to…and then putting those dishes away quietly because that someone is napping in the next room.

But in language, as in life, Love is complicated. And Love with a Capital L is also the verb that propels us to action—that wakes us up with chirping birds or honking horns and that provides the strength that we need to move through the day, spending ourselves out in the world. This Love inspires us to adventure. It gives us the nudge to work and to communicate and to sit down and notice one another. It moves us to take walks under a sky that's blue and sunny, or a sky that's equally beautiful with its clouds and its grey. Love wastes no moment.

When we spend this Love with its capital L, when we pay attention to our actions and allow this mystery to pulse through us at every moment, even when it's hard or inconvenient—especially then—we are awake to the world around us. Just as Love with a Capital L provides energy and wisdom and creativity, we leave undeniable traces each day in our wake.

And then we fall into bed at night appropriately exhausted, resting in this very same Love.

And to be a bride. And to be a groom. Love has brought them together. This Love is subjunctive, laced with the hope that they will awaken morning after morning and that they will reach out and they will touch a hand. The moment is tender. The moment is profound.

And here again we glimpse it: Love with a capital L.

Love you, Leslie.  Love you, Beth.

Check out Leslie's blog - "Farm Raised: A journal reflected the food and family life of a not-so-picky eater from Iowa" - here.  I promise you won't be disappointed!

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear! Look at us!! I miss you and love you, friend!!! Thank you for the kind words. Reading the beginning of this post made me remember how blessed in friendship I have been in my life--this was a great reminder of that. Thanks, donut. :-)