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What the River Said About Love

Yesterday on my morning river walk I decided to step off the trail and walk the labyrinth. As I stepped up to the opening I decided that my ask was that I wanted to learn about love. I wanted to learn more about what it means to not just be loving but to be love itself. Here is what it had to say. The first thing that popped up was a quote by Iyanla Vanzant, “We so think that relationships are a place to find love but they are not, relationships are a place to practice love.”

So I continued along the path and then I saw this barge. I immediately jumped off the path to take a picture to send to Tenneson because just a couple of weeks ago we were at a place not far from here in retreat where we were sitting and watching the barges go up and down this very river and I thought he would enjoy this picture. When I was done I returned to the labyrinth and I heard, sometimes love requires us to step off the path we thought we needed to take. Sometimes love requires us to stop, wait, and be patient.

I continued my walk. And I came across these beautiful flowers. Notice how soft and delicate they look especially in front of the strong solid bridge in the background. And I realized that in these times with so much hate and anger in the world we are called to practice love instead of looking for it even more than even. I think where I have gotten confused in the past is that I have thought I knew what love was only later to discover i didn’t have a clue. I had said before that the day I told my ex-husband that we needed to move toward divorce I felt more capable of being his wife than ever before. I stood in more love, truth, and integrity than ever before. I could have never imagined that love would look like that.

I thought love was soft and delicate like the flowers in the picture, and sometimes it is but love is also strong and solid like the bridge. Love is so strong that it can last through lifetimes, it’s so solid that it has allowed me to midwife loved ones while they made their journey into the afterlife. And in this time of national and global conflict and strife love is strong and solid enough to stand and speak truth to power without anger and or attachment to the outcomes.

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I shared your post on Facebook and wrote my response to it ... I want to share that here as well: I love this, in every way. I love the woman who posted it, as teacher and as Anam Cara to me. I love the complexity of the way it speaks about a concept we (I) *think* we already know something about. I love the place it comes to, because I have been tossed about with confused emotions in response to the events of the day. I have had deep questions and deep confusion around how to love my beloved — and bedeviled — community. I have had close-to-home (and heart) confusion about how to love when addiction and estrangement…

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