I've had so many conversations about love this week, there must be something in the air besides dandelion fluff and cottonwood fur.
And I'm not talking about romantic love. I'm talking about something more ephemeral, like molecules or wind or stardust. Each conversation seemed to wind itself to this idea: that love connects us all in some way only poets grasp and that maybe science will, too, one day.
And the other night, as I walked home from seeing some friends, I remembered a moment I had many years ago when I was flying back from a business trip.
The plane encountered turbulence that tipped us downward, fast. Pens and papers and empty wrappers became airborne, and we strained against our seat belts. You could hear, see, and feel the fear all around, a breathless sensation that death was close.
Looking back, I'm sure it was a moment that my life might have flashed in front of me. But that's not what happened.
Instead, I recall a sense of time slowing down and exquisite quiet encircling me.
I've only felt that one other time in my life, and that was when my mother died in my arms in the wee hours of the morning, when her labored exhalations turned into whispers, and slowly, slowly they faded and then stopped.
Moments later, I felt bathed in warmth and glow, as if her spirit had expanded into light and washed over me, leaving only peace.
And on that airplane what came to me with perfect clarity was one simple thought: I have loved and I have been loved. And that is enough.
I have never been afraid to fly since.
Image by wetwater
Image by gari.baldi