Day 96: Love...a Connection of Its Own
“Do I love Dutchess?” I remember asking a spirit-friend when we were in some extended time together. It was an earnest question, as I’ve never felt ease in using the word love in a personally expressive way. I could say it stems from my family heritage, a highly cognitive bunch more at home with rationality than expressive affectivity. But one of my immediate family stories is that we got a dog because Lisa cannot express emotion. I was apparently hesitant from earliest ages. Needing to be sure? I wonder...
I’m not sure why I protect the word love so diligently. A colleague from way back used to sign “Love, Mary” to all of her correspondence with students. As a supervisor in the program, I remember asking her about that. “It’s not professional,” I remember thinking. As a leader trained to help shape leaders in loving communities. Hmmm… I even remember the panic I felt when several students, at the closing circle of our formation/integration class, expressed their love of me, verbally. I was terrified I had committed some ethical lapse. Ironic, for a professor committed to shaping communities that love.
This strand of memory arose yesterday in a coffee reconnection with another spirit-friend, Anwar. He and I met at a lunch table in Yellow Springs many years ago—he there on break from his work at the Base (I think), me there on lunch break from a training in cranial-sacral bodywork. We wound up in a rather deep-dive conversation about energy and healing, some from his own experience, mirrored by companions, some from my own feminine awakening just beginning to unfold. We’ve been connected ever since, texting at holidays and getting together for coffee in the summers, as way opens. He shared a writing on questions surrounding love—its true-ness, its complexities, its mystery in being spoken, or not.
I do love Dutchess, I realized, but in such a way that my ego, will, or voice had very little to do with it. When I was first learning of her, her family-owners told me her full name was “Pennsylvania Dutchess.” She had been a cart-horse for an Amish family in her early years. I fell in love with her before I ever met her. Our connection was visceral and deeply felt, immediately. My paternal line is Pennsylvania Dutch, Deutsch, from Lancaster County, PA. I knew as soon as I heard her name that I was to learn with her, from her. Brian and I gladly paid the partial lease each month, though it seemed excessive to some close to me. Caring for her in her elder years, it felt to me.
Love seeds, roots, grows often where we least expect it. It’s often present between those who do not speak it openly. And yet there is vulnerability in love being expressed for the first time, in words. Or spoken to another, but then not reciprocated, in speech.
I don’t protect the word so much now. I practice speaking it more often.
I love you, reading here.