“Earth’s the right place for love; I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.” ~ Robert Frost, Birches …
In reflecting upon Robert’s words, it helped me to read the entirety of his poem titled “Birches.” In it, he talks of swinging birch trees, of climbing them until the weight of the climber causes the tree to bend so far that the climber, if he or she were high enough, would be set back down upon the ground. He also mentions the importance to him of climbing the trees–to “get away from earth awhile,” but to “then come back to it and begin over” by being set back down upon the ground. And while the earth may sometimes seem like a difficult place to be–filled with pain, heartache, and obstacles that often pose as tremendous challenges to our resolve–it still remains a place of love, hope, joy, and purpose; a place that Robert prefers to experience even with those difficulties.
This world contains endless oceans of love within it. We may not always recognize this love, as often times we are not looking for it or are not expecting it in the places or the forms in which it visits us, but it is there. And when we experience it, and share it with those in our lives, we become an active contributor to the positive forces in this world. However, to do so effectively, we must also stay focused on both giving love and being receptive the to the love of others–letting them love us back.
By spending more time looking for love, we can help keep our focus on both giving and receiving it. This does not require searching for it as in a quest, but simply adopting a greater awareness of the love that surrounds us and then recognizing and appreciating it. The person who drops some money into a struggling man’s hat, the child who helps the elderly woman carry her groceries to her car, the peer who helps another with a project at school or work, the child who draws a picture and gifts it to a parent or lonely adult, the teen who offers to babysit for free because they know that the parents cannot afford to pay–in these and in so many other small, unnoticed acts lie the seeds of love; and these seeds so often go unnoticed by all of us.
Earth is a good place for love, for it is inhabited by divine creatures who, being created by a Being of perfect love, have a wonderful potential for love. And this truth becomes all the more apparent as we continue to open our eyes and hearts to see the love in our lives and conquer the fear that we feel to share it with those others.
Open your eyes and heart to the love all around you.
Questions to consider:
Why do so many people focus on what they perceive to be a lack of love, rather than on the presence of love and loving acts?
Why is love so important to us? If it is so important, then why do we not make it a major focus of our lives?
How might we go about making love a more central part of our lives?
For further thought:
“It is especially appropriate to say that the greatest command, the most condensed philosophy, the wisest business and success-achieving advice ever given was given by a man who was crucified. He summed it all up when he said, “Love one another.” . . . One really doesn’t need to fight for success. One can love one’s way toward success.” ~ Thomas Dreier, The Vagabond Trail