I was on a path to do a four part series on “why war,” but then spring happened, and I was taken by the wind. Last Wednesday I finished a big project and decided to give myself full permission to go over to our land and putz around. I screened clay, dug weeds, lit a fire in the house, and detrashed the yard. If peace is the opposite of war, then I was in a peace zone.
On Friday my sister and her husband arrived for a visit. They live in Pennsylvania so we don’t see them all that often. Suddenly my perfect peaceful world was made even richer with family. After our winter hibernation a couple dozen brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, siblings and in-laws crawled out of their winter dens and we had parties—a fish fry, a taco party, a pool party. One night we were all around the table at my brother’s and Milt said, “Look, six of you are here.” We have eight siblings in our family and six of us were around the table. (The picture above is the six–two brothers are missing from the picture. I am third from left in the blue vest.)
Two things made this gathering particularly special to me. One of our clan is facing a serious battle with cancer—the outcome uncertain. And the second was that there were two newborns in our midst. Two of my nephews have become fathers in the past two months. We rallied around both the one fighting for his life—and the ones newly entering it. It reminded me again of that amazing generational flow of life over thousands of years—and our singular place within the greater flow.
If I could wish anything for the many troubled people I’ve worked with, it would be a family like mine. We are so imperfect and so flawed and so twisty at times–and yet when we gather, all of the imperfections are lost in the polish of love. We are polished by our feelings for one another. Somehow as a whole we are stronger and better than any one of us could be individually. We are a touchy family so we hug and kiss and hold hands. This is the cleansing wind of love.
The other day Milt sent me an article from the New York Times, a woman talking about love and brain development. Did you know that love and cocaine have the same effect on the brain? I smile as I write that. It sounds crazy, but love makes us high. Love also lowers blood pressure, makes us feel safe, and even makes the brain cells continue to grow and stretch. The good news in the article is that the brain is a resilient and growing structure—it is never too late to find and nourish love. It doesn’t matter if we didn’t “get enough” as we were growing up. We can do it now. The other good news is that love is not a noun—it is a verb, an action we do that brings a certain response. We can even “practice” love by gentling our vocal tones, smoothing our thoughts, using our bodies and our touch. And we can practice not only with others but with our own inner self.
I’m rambling now, but then I am in love. Over the past week I made love to my land, my house, my family, my husband. I’m trying to figure out how to make love to a lot of other people and places. I guess I would rather make love than war.
So, make love. Look around—there are infinite possibilities for making love. Infinite.
I’ll attach a link to that article—pretty good.
And also, I’m still struggling with why some of you who have subscribed don’t seem to be getting my weekly article. If you got this, do me a favor and just leave a comment that says “got it” or something. Or if you want to subscribe, just add your email to the box below. Happy Spring!
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