For about as long as I can remember I have been showered with love. I am so unbelievably lucky to have grown up in a family that said “I love you” more than necessary (you can never say it enough). I’ve always inherently known that love exists. Love is important. Love is a powerful emotion that guides passion, and caring, and changes the way we interact and give to those around us. However, what took me some time to appreciate is the multitude of ways in which love manifests itself around us. In fact, is has become a huge fascination of mine to search for it everywhere. So in little notes and scribbles I have acquired lists of places where I think love exists. Here is the Europe edition.
- On a ferry boat in Greece where a father pretends to be a choo-choo train for his little boy up and down the isles.
- The families on the streets of Paris. Both mom and dad cuddle and play with their children before they brace for the night ahead. A heartbreaking form of love.
- A teenage girl walking down the street holding her father’s hand.
- The driver who skyped his Canadian friend on our way to the airport in Athens
- Also, the way this taxi driver so absolutely adored his life.
- A woman walking past me in Florence on the phone, pep talking her friend.
- “You got to give it all you got and if that doesn’t work you are going to try something else. You can do this.”
- The strangers on the street who helped my family get me to the hospital in Greece who then texted AND emailed us to see how we were doing.
- We were no longer in their country anymore and they were still checking in.
- The man in Italy who thanked me profusely for buying a single pen from him at his merchant stand. He clearly used this shop as a main source of income.
- He apologized so many times for not being able to speak english. I wish I could have apologized to him for not being able to speak Italian.
- My aunt who I have only seen a few times in my life, hugging me and crying as we drove away from her house in Nürnberg, Germany.
- The family on the pier at Fuschl am See, Austria.
- “Papa, Mama, Komm!”
- An old folks home that was having an afternoon dance in Munich, Germany.
- We stood in the streets, watching through an open door, as a room was filled with moving feet and laughter
- The way my heart felt when I walked into a room and was embraced by friends that I had not seen for years in Schwabach, Germany.
- The way thousands of voices sound when they gather arm in arm and sing a song called “Wahre Freundschaft” (true friendship) while the sun is setting on a field in Romania.
- Also, the way culture has a way of embracing your identity and binding two people together in forever friendship.
- Also, the act preserving a culture.
- Le mur des je t’aime, or the wall of “I love you’s” in Montmatre, Paris.
- I sat at watched as couples young and old, kids with their parents, and friends kissed and posed for selfies in front of the wall that has ‘I love you’ written in 250 languages.
I think the take away here is that it’s everywhere and its all-encompassing. In the past I have often tried to decide which forms of love were more important or unimportant to me. I didn’t give romantic love any sort of value until I experienced it. I know the earth shattering reality of what it means to share love with friends and family while they are still alive, because I know loss. There is heartbreaking love. There is love for places. Love for strangers. Love for humanity. There is SELF LOVE. I’ve learned it’s all so very important and the ways in which love is present in your life changes. It’s easy miss out on the beauty of one form just because you’re too busy looking for a different one.
Most importantly though (here comes the cheese) … give love. everywhere. always. to everyone (including yourself). no matter what.