Love is strange. Everyone knows that. It's not just one feeling or a potion or wandering around in a misty trance. It's not roses or chocolate or champagne. It's not relying on just one other person to make you happy or fulfill all your needs as a human being.
Love is a whole intoxicating blend of tiny nuanced chemical reactions; atoms shaken, blended, scent, sight, memory, past, future, now, together, tight, elastic, hot, cold, LOVE.
Today is my 6th wedding anniversary and for the last few weeks I've been thinking back over the years I've spent with my husband, both since we have been married, and before.
Someone once told me that when you meet a partner while you are young, that person always 'sees' you as you looked at that age. They don't notice the passing years, the changes in your face...wrinkles. And I think it's true. Looking back at photographs of my husband and I when we first got together, we look so young! And I didn't think we'd changed. But we have. Tiny shifts. But it doesn't matter, because love expands in a strange time-memory-continuum, accommodating the changes.
So this years' suggested 6th anniversary 'gift' is iron or candy. And strangely, I just had to buy a new iron. But that wasn't a wedding anniversary present. That was just housework and my love of sewing.
And that's the big truth: love needs no gift. Nothing at all is required but being there, together. Togetherness is the gift. Happy. Talking. Listening. Sharing. Loving.
We didn't have a big wedding. In fact, we kind of eloped. We know what our love means to us and what it means to be in love. And it doesn't demand glitz or extravagance. Those things are nice sometimes of course; the icing on the cake, the froth and fun. But they don't make the cake, if you know what I mean.
We are both emotional beings. Human beings. We're both ruled by the sea, by Neptune (if you believe in astrology, which I do). There are storms, waves, shipwrecks, but that's to be expected in real life. This is real life. Not a fairytale.
But our love still feels like a fairytale:
The night he first kissed me. The Red Arrows drawing a heart in the sky above us on our first weekend away. The proposal on our first holiday, after a day in Egypt and lunch on the Nile. Getting married in a castle. An owl delivering our wedding rings...
I still get flowers, a dozen red roses out of the blue, chocolates, thoughtful gifts. And lots of tea. We're not perfect. But nothing is. Love to me is the embodiment of 'wabi-sabi'.
- Being there, side by side, in quiet contentment
- Warmth. Cosying up. The tingling feeling of being in love (and the fact I can't help always being cold...)
- Tea. A lot of tea. And him knowing when to make tea (all the time)
When I asked my husband what love means to him, his answer was:
- Warming up your cold hands (and feet)
- Making a lot of tea
- IT support
We're talking the same language. Mostly.
And that's love.