Thursday, 12 February 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Is it true love?
What is that fleeting feeling and why is it just the best? You know what I mean -  the moment when you find yourself not just on the same page, but with the very same perspective as another person. I’m not talking romance here. It might be with a stranger or a relative with whom you have little in common when, for a split second, you both connect so fully that you’re like one person instead of two. 

It can happen when a cashier patiently waits for a slow customer rooting through his wallet and you, in line behind him, share a fond smile with the clerk. You catch each other’s eye, just for an instant, and bam, a flash of empathy. 
Babies in public places prompt many such moments – beaming faces all round unite in delighted adoration. 

One wintery day, as I passed a security guard on the sidewalk in front of my bank, I thought I heard a tune being hummed. I did a u-turn and asked "Are you singing?"
He answered, "Oh yes, I am" and broke into "My Girl" a pop song from my youth. I joined him in a street corner duet, "I've got sunshine on a cloudy day...". Pure joy for both of us.

I wonder if these moments are a taste of true love, the mystical idea of universal oneness, the kind of communal connection that Jesus offered humanity.  Does that instant of joy, untainted by any of the usual divisions and egocentricity, show us what the Easter promises meant? Are we glimpsing the coming world where True Love rules, the kind of human wholeness for which “all creation groans”?

I was at Pike Place, the popular outdoor market in Seattle, Washington. Tourist websites had all mentioned the stall where workers threw fish to each other, so I made a beeline there to ask what I had to do to see a fish get thrown. 
“Buy one!” the aproned man replied. Duh.
After I explained that I was on the road and couldn’t cook anything, he cheerily carried on chatting. 

As we stood next to each other, waiting for someone to order a fish, I suddenly felt hands kneading my shoulders and realized that the tall young worker was treating me to a quick massage as he waited for his next customer. If I hadn't been his mother's age, it would have creeped me out. As it was, I relaxed into the pleasure of his strong fingers digging into my tense muscles and then grinned up at him. 
“Will you marry me?” 
He hesitated and quipped, “Uh, how do you feel about student loans?”
We shared a laugh of true love…joy, peace, kindness, goodness. 

Whether we receive Valentine gifts or not, true love surrounds us. Celebrate!