When I was in high school, I remember my girlfriends and I talking excitedly about boys when someone asked, “But how do you know it’s Love?” Someone using her most mature-sounding voice replied, “You will know.” We were all very impressed but little did we know it was probably something that came from Dolly Magazine (remember Dolly? And Girlfriend?) So we progressed through high school and uni, watching Hollywood romances when “that moment” comes on. Lights, camera, action all culminate in that unmistakable moment when the lovers realise they are lovers in Love with a capital L.
Tonight I had “that moment”. Tonight, I met love on the streets, and it literally stopped me in my tracks.
I was returning home on the train late in the evening, having left my car at my parents’ home in the morning. It was dark, cold and raining outside, so I thought I’d call my parents to see if anyone could pick me up from the train station. Mum answered and told me no one was home who could pick me up (she doesn’t drive). I told her that’s OK and I could just walk back.
As I walked through the dark streets, I saw a woman hurrying along the streets holding two large umbrellas in each hand. She looked up, gave me a big smile and started waving the umbrellas at me. My mum.
“What are you doing here, mum?” I asked.
“Coming to find you. It’s dangerous walking alone in the dark.” She replied.
“But it’s faster for me to run than for both of us to run together.” I joked.
“I can walk fast.” She replied seriously. “Anyway, I thought I’d bring you an umbrella because it was raining but now it seems the rain has stopped.” She held up the two large umbrellas in case I didn’t see it.
“Thank you, mum.”
I took the umbrellas and wrapped my arms around her shoulders as we walked home. She chattered all the way home, and I remembered back to when I was in high school wondering whether I would recognise love if it came by. I smiled at my mum and knew that this was love.
Yet there were no lights. No cameras. No soundtrack. This was not a Hollywood moment. But undeniably, it was love. It was a selfless act of a mother wanting to protect her adult daughter from the dark, cold, and creepy strangers lurking in the bushes, the way she would protect me when I was a little girl.
“That moment” made me realise that very often in life, we are blessed with Love. The problem is, we have forgotten Love and we don’t recognise it when it comes because we are expecting Love to come with trumpets and by way of grand romantic gestures. Yet Love visits us at different times, in different places, in different ways and through different people, without discrimination.
Love is someone wishing you happiness without expecting anything in return.
Love is someone warming your side of the bed before you sleep.
Love is someone who gets up earlier to make breakfast for you.
Love is someone giving their full presence to you when you speak to them.
Love is someone being with you … without their phone.
Love is someone offering you a smile.
Love is the words that lift your spirit.
Love is the silence that brings you peace.
Love is what happens when there is no selfishness.
Love is caring.
Love is understanding.
Love is accepting.
Love is to care, understand and accept others, and oneself.
Love is an open flower.
Love is the soft sunshine that warms your heart.
Love is the breeze that cools your mind.
Love is your mum coming to your rescue in the middle of the night with two large umbrellas.
The practice for this week is to recognise moments of love, so as to open yourself up to the possibility of love at every moment in your life.
Whatever comes your way, welcome it with love.
Whoever you meet, meet them with love.
Whatever you do, do it with love.
Whatever you say, say it with love.
Whatever you are being, be with yourself with love.
And how do you know it’s love? You will know.