blog, Pat Aitcheson writes

Is love ever a mistake?

better to hope than to love

rose petal red_malubeng
malubeng via pixabay

Love. It’s the greatest good we have as humans. Most of us chase it all our lives, and sometimes even find it. But in the nature of these things, finding and keeping is not the same thing. I wrote elsewhere about different kinds of love, but romantic love is the one the songs, films and books mostly hold up as the ultimate.

We say love is forever and yet we know it is not. We enter into contracts and exchange rings that symbolise an unending circle. And we quietly build exits and escape clauses.

We hope and pray that love will last, but objectively everything that has a beginning has an end, as The Matrix Revolutions had it. It was a remark by Jake Lira of @thecreative.cafe that got me wondering about the wrong turns and detours we make in search of The One. He asked: is love ever a mistake?

Perhaps there are no mistakes, only progress we can’t see at the time.

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.
Søren Kierkegaard

If we look at life this way, it gives us some hope. When things seem to be going wrong, we are simply taking an unexpected turn on the road of life. Those footprints cannot be erased anyway. We can’t deny our past; we can only make peace with it.

With this in mind, we are able to look back at past experiences and take what can be learned from them. Some loves are like flowers; beautiful and doomed, and all the more precious because they are ephemeral. What we should treasure is not this idea of romantic love, in whichever way we live it, but the capacity to feel love not once, but many times.

As long as we are able to try again, the possibility of grasping love remains. And the emotion that keeps us going in its absence is hope.

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness.
The Architect, The Matrix Reloaded (2003) The Wachowskis

As Pandora found, when all is lost, hope is the tiny flame that lights the darkness. And the deeper the dark, the brighter it shines.

blog, garden

Stars on earth

Look down, not up

We can gaze at the night sky and marvel at the constellations. But sometimes brilliant stars can be found in the daytime too. All photos taken in my garden.

 

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Clematis armandii Apple Blossom

 

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Narcissus Thalia
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Helleborus seedling
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Magnolia stellata

There is something about the combination of spring green and white that lifts my spirits. It is hope and possibility and a fresh start. It is the promise fulfilled, Demeter rejoicing at Persephone’s return, the reward for enduring winter. Now, past the balancing point of the equinox, gardens are truly awake.

I look out at young growth everywhere and know that despite everything, the seasons turn. Birds will sing, flowers will bloom, fruit will come in time.

It’s time to turn my face to the sun, so the shadows fall behind me.

blog, garden

Hope is a small thing, dressed in green

snowdrops_Hans
Hans via pixabay

Last time, I talked about how new beginnings can come from what seems like disaster. In the space cleared by the end of one idea, another may find the space and light it needs to germinate and grow. Sometimes, an idea (or a thing, which is just an idea made concrete) has a limited life span. It flourishes for a while and then disappears when its job is done. Its beauty lies in its temporary nature. Isn’t that the glory of flowers?

Gardeners know the turn of the seasons, and that few deaths are final. We bury our plants in the compost heap, and they nourish new life. Sometimes they are born again, in unseen seeds that burst into triumphant life.

But what about grief?

Mourning what is past is both necessary and healthy, as long as it doesn’t replace the act of moving forward again. When winter grips the garden, and it is but an array of brown empty earth, dead stems, or snow-huddled mounds, it’s easy to think that this is a permanent state. But it is just a phase; it’s not permanent.

Spring is coming

Whether you know it or not, life lies below the surface, waiting for the right moment to emerge. Those first green shoots are tender yet they are the toughest, willing to push out of cold soil into chilly air or even snow. They are the most precious, because they are eagerly awaited signs that the spring is coming, and with them comes the promise of better days. But to get there, a winter must be endured.

The only way out is through.

The only way to avoid grief is to never love.
The only way to avoid endings is to never say hello.

The only way out of life is to push through its many winters.
The only way through winter is to push out again, to risk exposure, to seek the sun.