“Happiness is a risk. If you’re not a little scared, then you’re not doing it right.” ~ Sarah Addison Allen
The decision to use only pastel colors for the eggs this Easter, and imagining how they might look in a white bowl on the table reminded me of brightly colored ribbons. And that image reminded me of love letters, a childhood friend, and faith unbroken.
It is from this dear, dear friend, whose love of life, and love of love never faltered, that I first learned about playful tenderness and the necessity of nurturing optimism, against all odds, in all things.
As far as age, she could have been my grandmother, but in reality, she was always a little girl, just like me at that time…and just as I remain even now. Her husband was gone before I was born. But she always told stories and blushed. And when she passed away, a few bundles of love letters she and her husband had exchanged throughout their life were found. They were tied with pretty ribbons, and came with a note that asked they be carefully burned without being read.
On a day like today when you wake up happy for no reason (or maybe because it’s spring and everything is simply cheerful, and you get a free coffee and there’s even a yellow blimp in the sky), it’s impossible not to dream. And in anticipation of Easter, be reminded of miracles made possible by faith and love.
Isn’t it ironic that when love is as right as one can ever imagine (and more), everything else always seems to be all wrong. And not just in real life, but in our best stories as well. My friend’s love letters would have told quite the tale of separation, longing and struggle during war, and over years of trying to survive in circumstances most of us would have a difficult time imagining. Since I don’t have those love letters to share, I went straight for THE epic tale…my favorite…LoTR.
Just think of those two…Arwen and Aragorn…a love so right…and everything else so wrong. They were constantly forced to goodbyes and separation, always in danger, and in a world falling apart. He, haunted by both his past and future, unable to truly accept her gift, full of doubts as to how he might live up to his inheritance and expectations. She, even with special powers, forced to wait, worry and heal with love from afar. The king’s sword lay broken while overwhelmed hobbits trekked through Mordor. Armies of orcs and Nazgul were clearly going to win. And eventually even the elves turned to leave as all seemed hopeless. It really doesn’t get any worse than all that.
And yet, when love is right, faith is unbroken…and all the obstacles and injuries are nothing more than waves in the water…and no waves can ever break the sea.
I Googled to see how many articles I could find about love not being enough. I found many. But of course they were all about love being enough. Because love is many things….tenderness, respect, patience and forgiveness…and it is more than enough when honored and lived in all its manifestations. Those who know the secret of faith unbroken, understand that a known misery or lukewarm existence among things of lesser value one imagines being able to control, or else resignation and retreat, are never an option. Even if it means that one must confront the unknown…and summon waves so large that it might seem the seas, the earth and even the skies might be shattered.
Love is not easy. No matter how well we know someone, how much we like them or care, there’s always guesswork that must be done as part of the dance. We don’t all have the same exact needs at all times…and we each have many needs. There are going to be tears. There are going to be huge challenges and awkward moments. There’s going to be uncertainty…in ourselves, in each other. We will despair and fall. We will say mean things and things we don’t mean. We will refuse to listen with or to our hearts. There will be fear, frustration, helplessness and anger.
But anyone who has come across true happiness and a great love…my friend, the gods and the shamans, the poets, the writers, the filmmakers…every blessed soul among us…knows that you can only go with the heart, in love and in everything you do. It’s excruciatingly difficult. And if it scares you, it’s that much better…it means you’re getting it right. Because it’s supposed to scare you into courage, and shake you to your core so that you will be certain of your true strength.
In real life, just like in fairy tales, the impossible surrenders to a happy beginning without fail when one trusts enough to live from the heart and never grow old, when one realizes there is no breaking of faith, and one also makes peace, as Aragorn literally did, with an army of shadows that then came to his aid.
So wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, I hope on this day you will stop for a moment and think of brightly colored ribbons, of love, and of faith unbroken. I hope you will dream and know that your dreams are your life waiting to manifest. Make peace with your shadows of the past and the future, and know that no storm or waves can ever break the sea.
And then of course, go watch this video. Yes it’s sweet and sappy …no complaining…just give it a go.
And if you’re grumpy and can’t be bothered, then of course you must watch a second video too!
Be well and be blessed.