Sunday, August 14, 2011

How Much Love Weighs (a post for my friends, who are getting married)

No speed of wind or water rushing by
But you have speed far greater. You can climb
Back up a stream of radiance to the sky,
And back through history up the stream of time.
And you were given this swiftness, not for haste
Nor chiefly that you may go where you will,
But in the rush of everything to waste,
That you may have the power of standing still-
Off any still or moving thing you say.
Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar. -
Robert Frost, "The Master Speed"

It's early still, 7am California time, and I type this with only the glow of the computer screen shedding light on the morning. Soon we will all wake up and begin, hair curling and applying bronze and gold eyeshadow, laughing while we tuck ourselves into our purple dresses and Hannah slips into the white gown hanging on the curtain rod in her parent's room. The house is still, and the refrigerator hums and clicks slightly, as if to remind us that in the midst of the surprising, the miraculous of today, is the good and heavy weight of the ordinary, too. 

I am about to watch my first close friend get married. In just a few hours they'll see each other, then she'll walk down the aisle in these sunken gardens, up the steps where we will be standing, to John, her eyes locked onto his and the weight of their love keeping her steady on her feet. 

Love weighs us down. When our hearts are emptied of love we are like birds with their hollow bones, perching on telephone wires, able to fly off at a moment's notice. Love anchors us to the earth. Love insists that we go moment by moment, that we stand still and hold hands. Love insists that we fear nothing, but embrace all, that we pour out more of ourselves than we think we can and don't ask for it back. 

This is the love I see in my friends John and Hannah. This is the love that binds two together like the seams of a book, that blossoms more each year. This weighty love, love that makes promises, love that gives again, and again, love that is the power of standing still against the hurricanes - this is the love I see in their hands and their eyes and their laughter. And this is the love that grows joy. 

Seek this love, wherever you are. Seek this if you are single, if you are married, if you are in the murky places between. Seek this love if you have children or don't, if you are asking God too many questions to count or if you sit silent in His presence without any words at all. Seek this love, and give your heart over to it, so that we might all be filled with all the gravity of love. 

And for Hannah, and John, who teach me that this love is astonishing, and beautiful, and true - I give you Robert Frost, "life is only life forevermore together wing to wing and oar to oar" - and all my love. 


1 comment:

  1. i resonate with your description of love...feels like this summer has brought me the very weight that you anchor to this place that if given the chance, i would otherwise be so, so quick to escape. much love to you, hilary on this joyous day! :)


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