As this weekend comes to a close, I join so many others in the sadness of the violence and hate that seems to be so prevalent in our world right now. It makes me reflect on what it means to love, both specifics and generalities.
Many of us think of love pretty much purely in the romantic sense. To be clear, I write romance novels, so I get the romance thing. But love is so, so much more.
This past three days, I have seen love shown in so many ways. Yes, it was my birthday on Friday, a day that has been difficult since Sam’s death. This year I can say I felt more at peace than I have on any other of the last five birthdays. And much of that peace came with my recognition of the the love that came my way or that I was fortunate to witness over these last days.
Friday started with a “lil humid dance” sent via text from across the globe, then throughout the day, people called, texted, messaged me. I spent the day with a professional group that inspires me more than I can express — these are people who actively and assertively seek to help the most fragile and marginalized every single day. To just sit in a room with them is an honor! Then we came home, and I was given a surprise.
I had asked for bookends to hold my books on the mantle. My oh-so-talented husband not only made the bookends for me, he took the time and effort to make them tree of life bookends. Wow.
Later, we went to a local restaurant for dinner, and one of the people we love most was working there, and seeing her brought us such joy. At the end of the meal, she arrived again, with a treat, and had her co-workers sing to me.
Why am I telling you this? Not because I want you to go, “wow, that looks really yummy.” Instead, it struck me that love is all around us if we take the time to notice it. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t in a dark time, it means that even in the darkest of times, there are people who bring light and love to us.
For me, so many people took the time to reach out, many knowing that I would be struggling on that day. Those “reaching outs” matter — think of how much gentler and kinder the world would be if we all made the choice to reach out as much as we can.