By Marsha M. Brown
‘How do I love thee?’
Far from the celebrated poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Sonnet 43) and her eloquent words about love but rather simply from a plain ‘ole me who understands love as I see it…its beginning…its maturity…its end – but then…does it ever? I don’t think so.
From the time we come into this world…we almost immediately understand what love is…the voice of the woman we lived inside, probably the more masculine voice of the doting father who nestles close to the big baby bump talking to his unborn little one…
If we are fortunate, we are conditioned to feel love and give love throughout our lives amidst nurturing, comfort, a kiss on a ‘boo-boo’, a pat on the back, hand holding, a hug, a cheer from the bleachers, tears for a daughter in her bridal gown for the first time, observing our son (or daughter) being acknowledged for academic achievements…love is something you cannot see but without a doubt, it’s powerful…we need it to survive and actually to thrive in this life.
A loveless life between us and others would be horrible…sad…lonely…and a truly empty existence. I think it goes without saying that love does as they say, ‘make the world go ‘round’.
But there are other kinds of love that contribute to our lives too (or don’t) and what we do with those other measures of affection count exponentially. Beyond our family and spouse or significant other…there is an undeniable love for our pets…whether its furry, hairy, feathered, slithery, crawly or scaley…maybe it moos, or crows, or barks, or chirps…maybe it’s a turtle that makes no distinguishable sound (unless to a veterinarian perhaps) …it’s just there and you love it…regardless, a love for our pets is different but also deep and true.
And then there’s a love for things…like sports, fishing, cooking, painting and crafts, writing (I can identify), singing, fashion and sewing, treasure hunting, dancing, woodworking, bird watching…a love for something that makes us smile because it gives us pleasure, we relax, we laugh, we compete, we challenge not only others but ourselves to surpass our last score, we concentrate on something other than work, bills, health…it’s fun and we love it because like the other kinds of ‘love’ we feel and know…it makes us happy.
Then, very importantly there is another love that can be seen on the faces of little kids and on the wrinkled faces and withered hands of senior citizens bent over from the wears of the world, who show their love for patriotism and love of country.
Speeches…though often times meaningful, touching and memorable don’t always do it for me…I kind of look at things like the Bible speaks of basically regarding the ‘fruit’ that people bare…’seeing is believing’…’the proof is in the pudding’…’the real deal’…’what you see is what you get’…’see it to believe it’…sort of brings to mind that actual visual results or live witness brings more clarity to truth, integrity and proof.
In my humble opinion, our world is spinning out of control…and the water has gone from crystal clear…despite ups and downs…to cloudy and opaque.
I am a proud baby boomer. I grew up when Daddy seldom locked our doors at night; boys were boys and girls were girls; basketball had boys and girls teams and in competitions it was girls vs girls and boys vs boys; when you were threatened in any way to the extent you needed help…you called the cops and were thankful when you knew they were coming; there were boys and girls bathrooms…it wasn’t related to how anyone ‘identified’, it was about respect for male and female privacy; we knew that energy sources came from the earth and bountiful in our land; the President of the U. S. was a respected figure and you felt safe that (whether you voted for him or not), that he had your back as an American citizen and you trusted that he would do his very best to protect you and those you loved; we went to high school and in the morning before disbursing from home room, we pledged allegiance to our flag and over the loud speaker, we heard a clergyman speak briefly and offer a prayer…that being said, there was no pressure to accept the Lord as our Savior…no pressure to join a specific church or commit in any way to a specific religion…there were no students who rose up in protest, or clasped their hands over their ears to defy hearing the brief message or walk out of class in protest…the morning started out peacefully…it was nice.
Black and white students were friends…we got along…we celebrated each other’s success in academics and in sports as well…we got along just fine.
The world was bound to change…and in some ways the changes have been wonderful…the internet allows us to research, seek, create, discover and learn so much without even hearing a salesman’s pitch to your parents in your living room to buy encyclopedias or go in debt to buy a set over time that sooner than later became outdated…and…we have become enabled to work from home and we were grateful for that.
Most often we revered our beautiful U. S. flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Star- Spangled Banner, the American Bald Eagle and the Statue of Liberty. Law enforcement was looked up to and if something was needed to help them do their work more effectively in the protection of innocent citizens and themselves, no one questioned it…no one ever talked about taking away from them…and our military? Well, there are no words…all of them were and are our protectors…but our recruitment numbers are reportedly down…when we may need them more than ever in view of current affairs, it’s a legitimate concern.
Yes, there are all kinds of love…but as citizens born in the U. S. or who came through proper channels to earn legalized citizenship, there is (or should be) a patriotic love for this country…that means NOT fighting against each other to implode within but to justifiably stand against our adversaries and NOT hating people who think for themselves…or who express what they think especially when their thoughts aren’t expressed out of malice. Those who seem heck bent on the destruction of our footing…on our stability…on our freedoms…on the incredible joys we would typically share and celebrate as Americans demonstrate ‘fruits’ that leave a sour bitter taste.
Love deeply our patriotic red, white and blue…love our military…love our traditions…love that we want and need – fairness for all…love our old veterans who have witnessed so much – cherish them, respect them, honor them…love our young men and women who have willingly signed up to defend our country, our families and our Constitution against all odds…and love from the bottom of your heart that our country was founded on principle. George Washington said, “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
I thank our Heavenly Father for His love for us…for Him putting people in our path and our life to love us whom we love back, and I thank and love Him for loving us no matter how good or bad we are and for forgiving us for our ‘boo boos’ and blunders. Finally…to the readers of GIG LINE…I love you all.
Until next time, love long, far, and wide; look for the good in people and things, enjoy life and be thankful for the life you have and the love you have known. Be healthy, be safe and be happy. Thank you for reading my column. If you have a question or comment, you’re welcomed to call my cell: (252) 202-2058 or write to me through firstname.lastname@example.org Also, www.giglineheroes.com is a great place to read previous submissions…and it’s a great sleeping aid! 😊 God bless you & stay tuned!