I have been thinking these last few days about true love. Is there such a thing? I once heard it said that ‘falling in love at first sight’ was really all about dysfunction and that there was no reason to believe that this type of love would last the distance.
You see, what got me thinking about LOVE was a concert I heard on Classic FM radio when I was in bed with the flu and enjoying some soothing music. A concert was being played entitled ‘The Prophet.’ The music touched me with its haunting melodies, especially in the playing of a Lebanese instrument called the ‘Lute’ or in Arabic the ‘Oute”.
The Prophet was a combination of music and readings taken from the writing of the Lebanese author, Kahlil Gibran, who wrote the book of poems called ‘The Prophet.’ It was first published in 1923 and has never been out of print since. However, it became a great success – especially in the sixties – when Gibran’s poems began to appear on cards and other memorabilia.
Much wisdom is contained in the spiritual writings of Gibran. Wisdom on love, marriage, children, time, clothes and even one on ‘talking!’ As I listened on the radio, the poem on LOVE was being read and it spoke to me and got me thinking about love in my life.
When love beckons to you follow him (love)
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you, yield to him.
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you
And when he speaks to you, believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
I was ‘in love’ once! Mad, crazy, stupid love. Twenty-two years old, away from home and madly in love with a man called ‘John’ in Mt. Isa. So naive. My first REAL love. Longing to see each other. Holding hands. Eyes locked together, blind to anyone else in the room. Dancing together in harmony. Having exciting adventures together. Sound familiar?
Four months we had together and then he was gone. I went back home to Brisbane for a wedding; John to South Africa to mine for diamonds. By the next year, it was all over … except for a few letters here and there. By May 1970, I had decided I could no longer reply to his last letter.
I had met my future husband and had heeded John’s advice to forget him and find someone more reliable and less restless. It was obvious that my mad, crazy, stupid love for John was greater than his ‘smaller’ love for me. And so, I made a decision to end it, though heavy of heart for what had been between us.
God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform folks, for John had to go so my husband Geoff could come.
And yes, I WAS wounded by ‘Love’s sword’ and my dreams of a life with John were shattered. But then again … John opened up my heart to love and taught me how to embrace the joys of life such was his sense of adventure and wonderlust.
Therefore, when Geoff entered my life ten months later, I was ready, and able, to follow him when love beckoned a second time. More subdued this time. Friends. Companions. A warm mellow feeling of love. Who would have thought that love would come to me so soon after and feel so right?
For strangely, all the time during my mad, crazy, stupid love for John, I never felt we were equals; I thought he was far above me in so many ways. Not a healthy state of affairs dear friends. And yet, from the moment I met Geoff, I never doubted our relationship was a meeting of equals.
God is good, and as I listened to the concert ‘The Prophet’, Kahlil Gibran, the Lebanese poet, had reached out through the years and touched my heart with his wisdom about love. He reminded me that love is never easy and that if we are seeking only peace and pleasure in love, forget it folks! For love ‘sifts you to be free from your husks’ and ‘kneads you until you are pliant.’
For even ‘mad, crazy, stupid love’ will pass and what will be left will be a love that feels ‘right’ but one that requires effort and commitment as children come and go and the years roll on by. There are two things to remember; the ability to forgive and the decision to keep loving after you have forgiven!
Simply sweep up the husks as you go along dear friends, for it will be a great old ride …