When I was younger, I was full of ideas of how things would be, one of those things was love. In my mind, love was a magical, true, and deep thing. Love was the one thing that could overcome anything and would never fade.
Now I am 36 but feel like I am in my sixties, or at least my soul. Love to me is something more complex now, something that glows and ebbs and flows, something that changes shape. It is something that can squeeze through tight spots and heal itself after it’s wounded. Love is true, that hasn’t changed for me, but what love looks like has changed. My idea of love used to be rigid, a neat description and if it did not fit in that description, it was not real love.
I am married. We’ve been together for 11 years (almost 12 now) and been married for six of those years. When we first got together, I remember time stopped. Everything moved in slow motion and the symptoms of each season seemed magical. The leaves fell slowly in autumn, each with a soft glow of red and brown. In the summer, I could hear the streams trickling in the distance and birds whistling sweet songs. The sun did not beam down with heat and harsh light. Sunlight was soft and warm, gently kissing our skin as we walked hand in hand. Winter was not a dreaded season of bitter cold and snow; it was romantic. We took strolls in trails and gently dumped snow on each others’ heads while we took selfies and kissed.
I smile while I write of those days, when the rest of the world faded leaving the two of us to do what we wanted to do most, enjoy each other. Eleven years later, we have a son and a dog. Life has put us through the ringer in a whirlwind of jobs, bills, parenting, doctor’s appointments, chores, and other daily tasks. After eleven years time is something we don’t seem to have enough of. We go to bed exhausted, probably thinking of things we didn’t get to do that are now left for tomorrow.
Now love is different. Love is steady and strong, it is what pushes us to do what we need to do everyday and still find a small bit of energy to hold a five minute conversation before falling asleep. To me, love is holding her in my heart with so much respect and affection that I make time to be around her. Love is those stolen moments between us, where we can get away and have a meal or share a drink. It is not magical in the same sense as before, but an old mystical type of magic, a magic that we only hold the secret for. In our love’s strength, I find comfort. In her embrace, I find peace and I am home.