Imagine for a moment, it’s your last day on this beautiful Earth; and as each breath is drawn in with a sense of gratitude, you are finally able to pause and reflect upon the love poem that your life has composed. The love poem, that has lived through you.
What kind of a love poem will it be? In what ways will love have woven itself into this world through your hands, your mind, your intention and your heart? How has the love of the world, for you, woven itself into the life you’ve lived?
I do believe, most deeply, that the world is filled with love for us, and in all moments it is beckoning, enticing, inviting us to giggle and smile and pause to feel the embrace of this love.
I’m not speaking of some commercialized, surface-oriented love that is just there to make us feel better if we’re feeling down. No, I’m speaking of an intensely soulful love that is unconditional, non-judgement, and seeking no result other than for us to be ignited by its presence.
This love is never discriminatory, never withheld, and is bestowed upon every single human and living being without expectation or limit. The more conscious of it we are, the more we open ourselves up to receiving it, and reciprocating it.
As with all things, what we give attention expands; and as we give this love attention, we expand as well.
“The stunning capacity we have for love is mirrored in the stunning capacity this world has in its love for us.”
This is not a new idea. How many ancestors do we carry with us in our blood and air and soil, and water, who have repeated this reminder, this essential truth of the human existence, the human experience.
We are not an accident.
We are not only creatures of destruction and of violence. We are made for this world, and we are made of this world. And the stunning capacity we have for love is mirrored in the stunning capacity this world has in its love for us.
Have you forgotten? I sometimes forget.
Yet, here in Chile, as I consciously make more time for quiet, for simply paying attention, the more I find myself staring in wonder at the wild love poems this world is writing to me each day. And each day we truly are, again, invited to fall in love.
The world wants nothing more than this.
Each sunrise is a love poem. Each sunset, a sonnet.
The wind carrying the vibrant tones of the fast-descending waterfall, interweaving it’s roar with the far-carrying and fluttering birdsong- a most divine love song of presence.
The bursts of color and delicate beauty of freshly bloomed spring blossoms and out-of-nowhere rainbows that tickle us with glee, are all love notes.
The moment the sunshine nudges aside that cold, dark shadow and wraps you in its deliciously warm sunbeams- an embrace of pure love.
Stones and clouds and leaves and puddles and pony spots, all arriving in our paths in subtle, quiet moments- shaped like hearts- love messengers.
It’s easy to forget. It’s easy to believe otherwise, when billboards block those heart-shaped clouds, and glossy phone screens draw our attention away from those split seconds that the rainbow shows itself. When the podcast in my earbuds blocks out the sounds of soft, lovely birdsong dancing with wind-tousled leaves- I miss this love song meant for me; when I’m walking outside with my head full of my to-do-lists or recounting something that I did wrong or someone I feel I’ve let down, and I don’t notice how my body naturally responds with appreciation to that change of temperature moving from shadow to sunshine- I miss that pause, I miss that moment of receiving the love being offered.
“The love poem of your life is not a piece of art made for critics- inner or otherwise.”
How is your life a love poem?
I caution that we may only look back at it in it’s entirety when we are in our final moments- because it is far too precious a piece of art to look at directly while in the midst of making. The love poem of your life is not a piece of art made for critics- inner or otherwise. It is not cake meant to be tasted before its fully baked, it must never be reflected upon with anything other than a quiet, open mind and a loving heart. And yet- we must reflect upon it if we hope to consciously weave it with the divine quality of unconditional love that this world has for us.
Just as we easily pass by the love notes from the Earth, we also easily overlook all of the open windows through with we are meant to send our love out into the world. The love that so masterfully forms and shapes this poem living through us.
And just as easily as we can begin to receive the love of the world, by paying attention, we can also consciously weave our love into the world with this simple practice- paying attention, being present for the experiences we are living as they unfold.
“As I imagine myself as an old woman at the end of my life and ask myself how I will evaluate my time here, there is only one question that concerns me: Did I love well? There are a thousand ways to love other people and the world–with our touch, our words, our silences, our work, our presence. I want to love well. This is my hunger. I want to make love to the world by the way I live in it, by the way I am with myself and others every day. So I seek to increase my ability to be with the truth in each moment, to be with what I know, the sweet and the bitter. I want to stay aware of the vastness of what I do not know. This is what brings me to the journey. I do not want to live any other way.”
~Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation
Oh what a magnificent invitation from dear Oriah, to notice that something as simple as our full presence for one another and for this world is an act of love. Our smiles and laughter given so generously and genuinely are our shared love language. We can weave our love into our work, into the words we choose to use, into the relationships we cultivate and into the art we create. Our love can be a key ingredient in the meals we cook and the conversations we have, simply with our decision to make it so
Cultivating a sense of presence, this willingness to simply pay attention to each moment of our lives, this is our opening, this is our invitation to fully participate in the crafting of this love poem, to fully honor this incredible exchange of love that is available to us in all moments we live and breathe.
Our presence with our love is what gives it wings to sail out that window into the larger world beyond. Our presence is what crafts the stanzas and the stunning, brilliant prose of the love poem living through us.