The buds have started showing on the trees and the afternoon sun has an undercurrent of warmth that wasn’t there before the 1st of February. The daytime hours are alive with birdsong and you can hear the cooing of doves in the evening.
Soon the redbud will be awash in bright pink blossoms and the dogwoods will get the first shoots of leaves in their belated awakening.
The dogwoods that guard my driveway don’t start blooming until around Easter – one of the reasons for the folktales regarding how and why their cross-shaped flowers resemble the tree of Crucifixtion. In truth, the “blooms” are not flowers at all, but modified leaves.
Today is St. Valentine’s Day, a day where secular Americans show affection (or don’t, as the case might be) for their loved ones…and where devout Catholics might be celebrating the martyrdom of the saint from the 3rd century. Oddly enough, the traditon of romance and love started, not with the saint, but with the medieval idea that birds would begin pairing together in mid-February and thus the 14th became synonymous with courting lovers.
As I sat in the sun earlier today, soaking in its warm rays like the winter weary trees, I brought awareness to my body and found my chest felt heavy and quiet. Unmoved by wamrth or birdsong, my lungs and the heart nestled so closely to them could not bring itself to beat in frantic anticipation of new life, or new love.
Valentine’s Day, even during my marriage was a bittersweet time. There were no date nights. There were no surprise flowers or home-cooked meals.
Perhaps there was a card now and then, so precious in its pink or red envelope, filled with words much too sentimental for my husband’s usual goofball antics…but they were always appreciated and carefully packed away for those hard days when cheesy and overly sentimental words were needed most…when both our dwindling romance and our increasingly busy and unfulfilling lives seemed too difficult.
I loved my husband. I love him still. And I’ll always have a place shaped just like him in my heart that will never be filled by anyone else.
But I know that my heart is larger than this loss I feel. I know I’m capable of far more love, and that I have more than enough room for another – even if anything more than a passing thought of it makes my chest feel cold and full of lead.
One day my heart will bud again and bloom just like the redbud and the dogwood trees, and I will sing songs of my love just like those birds outside do as they fluff their wings and bask in the glowing light of spring.
But not yet. Not yet.
For me, winter still holds the earth firmly in hand and the seeds of new love still sleep.
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1 thought on “The Seeds of New Love Still Sleep…”
I know someday you will find that person that you can fall in love with and spend your life with. It will never take away the love you had for John. Our hearts can love more than one person in our life.