Sunday, July 26, 2015

The most valuable thing in life is free

It can’t be bought and giving it just gets you more.
Now some of you are thinking air and water, but although we don’t yet pay for the air itself, we often pay in terms of bad health due to pollution or have to buy expensive gadgets to “clean” it, heat it, cool it. Water is similar – especially now that some big companies think that they have a “right” to it that we, the population of the world, don’t, i.e. we can buy it back from them once they have bottled it. Never mind all those who actually do have to have their water treated in order to even make it potable.

Nope, I have truly only been able to come up with one item that is truly free, that also gives you more, the more you give it: love

Ceramic Heart

Why the thoughts on love you may ask, is she “in love”? Nope, unless with my own life.
It was actually something my sister said when we last skyped. She had been able to spend a few hours with a childhood friend who re-married several years ago. That got me to thinking of all the varieties of love, the lengths of love, the ages of love.

And I realized that even if we restrict “love” to that of one person for another there are so many variations: “puppy love” – I had as an adult the mother of one of my 6-year-old classmates tell me that Billy had had a thing for me; teenage crushes – one of my most mortifying life experiences was the day my siblings got ahold of my diary and found written therein “he looked at me, shivers”; the dating (of which I did precious little – boarding school, shyness, being taller than a great many of my fellow students) with the pulling apart of a daisy “he loves me, he loves me not”; more adult “loves” such as the first “real” boyfriend (now that one didn’t turn out so well and I am ever so grateful that when he asked me to marry him at age 19 I said “sure, but when we are through university”, he wasn’t willing to wait and I had a near escape); my “true” love who was also my best friend (that I had told him early in our relationship “if after a year there isn’t progress, I am out of here” perhaps kept things on an even keel – I fell in love once we were engaged). There were of course the crushes afterwards with my friends warning me: “don’t get involved, he has health problems and you just lost one husband” or “it isn’t going to go anywhere and you’re just going to get hurt”. Ah, but what they didn’t understand, was that it was such fun to have that 16-year-old feeling of “being in love”. Reciprocated or not, for a good year I was in a very pleasant state of “what if?” and enjoying every nuance of every conversation or e-mail.

But that was my personal experiences, and looking at my friends love has so many facets, so many experiences: the childhood friend who married at 19 – and is still married all these years later – both are still happy and in love 40+ years later; my sister who also married young and who with her husband have reverted back to being teenagers again. Then there are those, such as my sister’s friend, and another of my good friends who had poor (not to say bad) marriages young, who spent many years on their own in between and who have, at an age where many have grand-children, taken the leap of faith and re-married. Never mind the stories one reads about people finding partners in nursing homes.

One thing links them all: love

Harmony, California, USA

So very interesting that it exists and thrives when it can’t be bought, can’t be sold, can only be given or accepted, perhaps that alone makes up for some of the other poorer qualities and traits that we humans possess.

There is no disguise that can for long conceal love where it exists or simulate it where it does not. -Francois, duc de La Rochefoucauld, aphorist (1613-1680)