There are a thousand ways to love

This is a season to cherish loved ones, nature and the wonders of daily life. (photo courtesy of Suha Chari)

There are a thousand ways to love

By Suha Chari

In this season of roses and chocolates, romance and remembrance, let us celebrate the myriad ways in which we receive and offer love.

I’m reminded of a now distant land, where the people are always eager to share their simple, meager meals with a guest; where the children love listening and speaking to outsiders, and often invite them home.

Then there’s my neighbor who never forgets to share her bountiful fruit with me.

– A neighbor’s child who loves to visit my garden, talking, playing, watering, wandering, weeding. We laze and enjoy the warmth of the day, together.

– A friend checks in often, asking if we need anything, especially during the pandemic. She invites us over whenever we return from a trip, or for no reason at all!

Another calls when she needs company, to share sad or happy news, or to offer opportunities for small
adventures. Deeply involved in various causes, and seriously troubled by life’s injustices, her energy and empathy must reach and soothe countless souls. Surely, someone somewhere feels this passionate outpouring of love.

With friends and family, we laugh, play, read, share good and bad news, argue, analyze, confide, hike, go
out to dinner and relax. These are the daily moorings that warm our hearts, keeping us grounded and fulfilled.

Not upmost in our consciousness, and somewhat out of sight, are those whose services enable and enrich our lives. The mailman, the gardener, recyclers and trash pick up folk, those who compost our greens, grow or cook our food, stock the shelves of stores and libraries, deliver news and entertainment, and many more such. Where would we be without them?

Lastly, most importantly, are all the creatures without whom we would not be here at all! From the smallest soil microbes and our gut biome, to the cheetahs and elephants that roam the earth, from the tiniest plankton to the great redwoods and Banyans and all manner of life on earth, these never cease to amaze and enthrall me. I feel the love of the stars, the moon and the sun that shine on even when no one’s looking; of the sky that enfolds all in its embrace, always open, always welcoming, always giving, with not a hint of disapproval.

Aren’t we lucky to be on this glorious earth, beneath these sunny, cloudy, starry skies? In our low moments, may we remember and cherish all these acts of love.

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