Thursday, April 28, 2011

A List.

When I was young, I had a list. A wish list, of what my future husband would be like. It went a little something like this:

In case that scan was hard for you to read, or if you are crying tears of embarrassment for me, I'll sum up what it said. 

Tall. Dark. And Handsome.

Oh, and he called me "Goddess Aphrodite of love" but I didn't know how to spell Aphrodite, so it came out "Affridites".

The purpose of exposing this amusing piece of my past, is to illustrate a point. We ALL had a list. Sure, you may not have written it down, but you had one. You had a type of person you wanted to be with. Somewhere along the lines you figured out the difference between preferences and principles. Mom sat down with you on your bed while you blushed and shared with her your deepest, "sercretest" hopes for the future love of your life, and she smiled and said "It is wonderful you have an idea of the type of person you want to marry someday, but I hope you will remember that tall dark and handsome is meaningless if he is an unkind, or unloving man."

We all came to that place, where we learned, that buying us pearls, playing golf  or strolling us down the streets of Paris would not make us happy if those pearls came from a man who did not really understand kindness and compassion, if golf was more important than time with his family, and a walk anywhere in the world left you groping for something to talk about.

So the list evolved. It changed into something like this:

"I love his great kindness. I love the compassion he shows for others. I love how generous he is, I love that he is always there for his family first. He is good and kind to his mom and sister, and respects his dad. He looks only at the good in people rather than criticizing. He is patient with me, and treats me with such tender love. He is always eager to do things for me. He is kind to everyone he meets. He is sweet to children and loves to play. His heart goes out to those less fortunate and he is eager to aid in any way he can. He is always striving to become a better man."

This was an exert taken from one of my journals, I wrote this about a wonderful man who was courting me at the time. And then I married him. It was all true, and remains so to this day. No where in that journal entry do I talk about how handsome, funny, or classy he is. In my eyes, he is all of those things too, but they weren't important to me when I was thinking about marrying him. They were bonuses, but not worth really weighing into my decision to marry. I made a good decision based on this new list. It was not the tall dark and handsome list of my childhood, it was something much greater. It was a description, of a real man. A good man. A man I loved with all my heart and soul, a man I knew without a doubt I would love for all of eternity. 

But love is a miraculous thing. It never stops moving. It never stops changing. It never stops growing. And I find myself once again looking at love with the same curious, dreamy, fascination I held as a young girl creating a fairy tale romance out of chocolate and pearls. Only this time, I find myself asking a question of my love, over and over every day....

"How can I help you become that better man I watched you strive to be as we courted?"

 How can my love, my presence in his life inspire him, motivate him and encourage him into the best version of himself? As I ask this question something amazing happens, simultaneously I begin change myself. And in a most magical way, as he grows into the best version of himself, I become a better woman. Day by day I begin to see, that I would have no chance of becoming who God intends me to be without the influence of this very man in my life. It had to be him. It had to be him, because I chose him. I chose him for his goodness, his kindness, and his desire to transcend into something greater. And for this same purpose he chose me. And we continue to choose each other every day. And will do so, for all eternity.

There is a dream on earth
that love falls into place
without a warning
or a care
left to the hands of fate.

How lovely it must be
that wild glow to share,
its mystery enfolding us
concealing every care.

Those eyes.
Those lips.
The longing.
The dark
impassioned bliss,
who could doubt 
the lasting,
of such a love as this?

Beware of love that falls
from sky,
like pouring rain.
It comes in mighty torrents
but fast dries up again.

The clouds all blow away
and leave the ground as dust.
All your heart once knew
was the primal cry of lust

For love distills most softly
like a still small voice
and whispers truth within us:
"Love, love is a choice".

Of the millions on this earth
over lands, and oceans blue
it could not be another
for I, 
My Love 
chose you!

Love is an act of will. Love is a choice. Love is to wake up every morning and say in your heart "I will love my husband  today. I will help him to become the best version of himself." Love is to say "I will love you even when you are feeling unlovable." Love is to say "I will love you through all the ups and downs of this life". Love is to say "I will always, choose you."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Owl's Eyes

Sometimes there are moments. Moments when you pause and open your eyes. Then you see. You see something magnificent. You see something that changes you. And the light in which you look at the world is more revealing and truer than it ever was before.

I had one such moment at the zoo. 

She walked toward me confidently, slowly, with an enormous owl perched upon her gloved hand.  "May I take some pictures?" I asked, as she began to pass "Yes, he's not camera shy" she smiled and began telling me about Forrest the owl. 

Her monologue began in a rehearsed manner, quoting facts and figures. Naming locations and regions I would never go in  my lifetime. I couldn't take the pictures fast enough as she held the magnificent owl before me. Click, click, click. He was a stunning creature, like nothing I'd ever seen. A group of young boys came up and asked questions about owls. I continued to click. The lighting was perfect, the range was incredible. Click, click, click. "What does he eat?  How large is his wing span?"  More facts, more figures, information about owls spouted forth from this woman like a talking encyclopedia. Click, click, click. The owl gazed back and forth turning his head in an impressive manner. Click, click, click. "How long will he live?" "How fast can he fly" "How well does he see?" "How sharp are his talons?" Click. Click. Click. The information zoomed around my camera as I zoomed in and out on each detail of this stunning bird.

Then the questions died down. The inquisitive boys ran off to take a gander at the tiger. 

Silence calmed my clicking camera. 

I stared for the first time deep into the eyes of the owl. Not through the screen of my little digital camera, I looked at him-with nothing but air between me and the large noble eyes of a creature so grand, it stopped my breath short.

"His eyes," the words quietly slipped from my mouth  "They are so beautiful." I could not look away. The woman paused, as if unsure how to answer without a fact or figure. "The color is rare." She said looking admiringly at the bird. "Most owls have brown eyes, or gray, but Forrest has amber eyes. We are so lucky to have him at our zoo. Of all the animals here, she smiled, He is my favorite."

I can not say what is right or wrong in the moral paradox of a zoo. I see the caged animals and wonder if they long for freedom or if they feel safe and secure. I look at the children around me becoming more aware of the world around them and wonder if the price of a zoo ticket may one day change the world. But I can say, I went to the zoo and my eyes were opened to a beauty I would have otherwise never beheld. I can say that the image of that magnificent creature will forever linger within my heart. I can say that as I gazed into the rare amber eyes of Forrest the owl, he showed me the handiwork of God, and my soul rejoiced in the wonder and glory of all the creatures upon this magnificent earth.

Photo Copyright Heidi Nickerson

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...