Try as I might, from time to time I need reminding (or, as my Ma Hutch would have said, ‘a skillet to the head’). I can get so caught up in the drama that I forget the bottom line. I neglect the one thing that matters most.
If there’s a rule by which my daddy lives, it’s simply this. “Don’t ever let a problem become bigger than a person to love.” He makes it seem easy, to be honest.
And sometimes, it is easy. Like when everyone agrees or we’re all focused on that single one brilliant thing that takes our collective breath away.
But most of the time, opinions get caught in the middle. Egos stand in the way. Perceptions about things that no one even witnessed – well, a lot of things get in the way. And before you know it, we’re arguing about whether it’s too early to plant watermelon or too late to start a movie.
And the thing (love) that was absolutely the most important thing is somehow ‘managed over’, reclassified into the ‘not so important’ file in error.
That’s not to say that love is forgotten (I love you; it’s the liking that hangs me up). It isn’t. It’s just a second thought, something taken for granted that never should be. It’s the lone footnote that should have been the title.
My mother meddles in things that aren’t her business. My sister struggles with demons almost 30 years old. My children and grandchildren have lives of their own, plans of their own. The moon turns a jealous eye, and before we notice, another season is passed – another time not to come again.
But if we’re lucky (so blessed), that thing that mattered (love) – it remains. When the voices are lost in argument, opinions have burned away, and the quiet settles soft like the snore of a sleeping child – it is there (still).
So, today, before I respond too quickly to an email or a text, I remind myself that nothing is bigger than my love for these. Nothing I will allow.
petals crush the ground
with the memory
of every winter
bring me round
one more time
before the blossom fades
let me breathe
the sweet perfume
of love –
. . .