I went for a walk/run on Easter in the town I grew up in. On this particular day I decided to go to the college campus where I spent a lot of time as a teenager. One of the things that struck me was how beautiful it still is and how familiar everything was and all the memories that came back as I ran the paths of the campus.
There is a pond there that used to have swans living in it. On this particular day, no swans in sight. I found that they were doing renovations and the pond had been emptied. What came to mind was how much I had loved seeing those swans every time I was at the campus. When my girls were little and I came to visit my family we would make a trip to the campus because of the swans. We brought bread that we would feed to the swans. One time, my brother Dave came with us. He is mentally handicapped and my daughter Mackenzie was probably about two years old. She is blonde, blue-eyed and on that particular day her sun drenched hair was pulled up in a ponytail and she was wearing a little blue jean dress with white sandals. My brother and my daughter were walking together, her hand in his. I snapped a picture as they walked in front of me so only their backs are visible. It is one of my favorite pictures. There is something poignant and innocent about it. It is a moment frozen in time. One that is forever etched in my memories.
As I continue, I happen to glance at one of the buildings and I see someone has spray painted on the side of the building toward the roof, I love. This strikes a chord with me to the point that I stop and just stand there looking. I think that this is an amazing sentiment. I love. Then as I stand there looking at it some more I realize that it is not simply I love. They have a person’s name lower down which is not entirely visible to me. The moment is not lost on me and I wonder how many other people have glanced up at this message to simply read I love and wondered what they took away from it.
It is truly moving and life changing to ponder and embrace this sentiment. Not I love him, or I love her. Not I love this pair of jeans, or I love the setting sun, or the rising of the moon. Simply I love. How limitless this becomes if you really think about it and if we can somehow manage to achieve this, then we are able to expand and be connected to everything and everyone around us. Life seems more vibrant and lighter at the same time.
The funny thing is I kind of had forgotten about this encounter until I went for a walk/run this evening. The first person I encountered was a woman pushing a stroller and in the stroller was a toddler. A dark-haired cute as a button boy who waved at me before I was even in close proximity to them. I waved back and as I got closer he waved again. I smiled at him and joyfully said “Hi, there! How are you?” By now we were passed each other and he craned his neck to be able to still see me and I continued to smile and in that instant the words I love came to mind and I said to myself, “This is how one simply loves and is connected to all.”
Each encounter I had became a process in seeing, recognizing and simply loving. Just before I was going to turn around to make my way back I smelled the sweetest scent come drifting toward me. I walked over to find delicate white blossoms which smelled to me of honeysuckle and I said to myself, “This is love.” The smell of rain and lightning in the distance. This is love. The horizon filled with dusty pinks and oranges and indigo blue of the rain filled skies. This is love. Being greeted when I got home from my walk by my dogs almost smiling at me and asking me where I have been and what adventures I went on. This is love. When my girls spill over with stories of their day not being able to contain them within themselves anymore. This is love. I am moved by this transformation and some how whatever lies in front of me doesn’t seem so formidable. When one loves and sees and can open up to connect to the love that exists all around, this is life-giving. It is life-giving to me. It is life-giving to you and it is life-giving to the Universe. I can almost hear the breath of love that is taken in by all that lives because of it. Truly amazing!
Maybe this is why the picture of my brother and little girl holding hands is etched in my memory. They connected to that life-giving source. Love swirled all around them and was carried on the breath of wind that day to feed another. How powerful and delicate this process is. When you open your eyes this morning what do you see? Do you truly see all that surrounds you? Do you see the sun as just the sun? Do you see the person standing in line at the post office as just another person and wondering how you’re going to get back to work before your lunch break is over? What about something as insignificant as your mail or the song on the radio? We can go through the day and not see them as anything but hindrances’ or nuisances but what happens if we see them for what they really are, if we truly peel away the blinders and see them for the love that is? For love that breathes around us and through us, never becoming stagnant. Always moving, always gathering and binding us together. Now that’s truly life changing! I love and I am transformed and in the process the world is transformed. See the love my friend. Be the love and notice what happens. I know it will make you smile! I love.