It’s February and the month of Valentine’s Day and a very commercial time to express one’s love. Oh, the cliches and the candy and the ache. However, it is also a beautiful time to contemplate love and its role in our lives. There is an oft-expressed opinion that we overuse the word love in trivial, everyday moments, and yet do not fully express it in the heavier, more poignant times in life. I am not sure where I fall on that spectrum. As someone who is trying to grow in her writing, I think part of the challenge is that there are not many synonyms for love. Yes, there is affection, like, passion, but the four letter word really does the trick. Instead of worrying about using the word too much, or not respecting its deeper meanings, why not just embrace love in all its forms, from the every day to eternal?
Here are a few ways that I have appreciated love recently, from the mundane to the magnificent.
I loved a hot shower. I appreciated the clean water, the ritual, the metaphor of rebirth, and the heat on a cold morning.
I loved a really good cafe au lait from my favorite coffee shop and a special treat on the way to a packed day at work.
I loved a morning hiking with third graders and getting to share my love for the Rio Grande with those students.
I loved a haircut session with my favorite cosmetology student who is about to graduate. We chatted and caught up and I realized we have become good friends in her year of school. I love that we will keep in touch, even if sporadically.
I loved that an article of mine was recently published. I loved seeing my byline and the experience of a dream coming true, with the help of persistence and follow-through and vision.
I loved a new vintage purse that I purchased through a cool online vintage shop on Instagram. I loved the beauty and functionality and connecting with a new person who also loves fashion and style.
I loved hearing a new pop song on the radio. I sang, even though I didn’t know the words, and released tension in the midst of a fun, catchy tune.
I loved a night looking at the moon and talking with a good friend. I loved the time to just be with someone who understands me well. I love this person deeply and I cherish this person’s love for me.
I loved a session getting some good advice. I realized that I was lucky to have this person to provide perspective, but also loved that I was open to the advice and ready to take steps on something that terrifies me.
I loved the full moon rising over the mountains. I don’t care how many times I see the moon, I love its beauty, its phases, its presence.
I loved a long and meandering conversation with my mother on the phone. We talked about everything and nothing, and I love her so.
I loved an hour on the floor with my two favorite dogs. They aren’t mine, but I know them well and love them so much. I loved the fur, the paws stepping on me, the heads resting on my lap, and time just being quiet.
I loved an hour cleaning and straightening my apartment. I love my home and its cozy feel, the plants, the art on the walls, my books, all of it.
I loved an evening making dinner for myself, the chopping, the cooking, the cleaning, and the beautiful sustenance of a good meal.
I loved a funny string of texts with my sisters. I love them and enjoy the giggles, even while we are a few hundred miles from each other.
I loved getting my act together and applying for a new opportunity. It felt good to be brave enough to try instead of procrastinating and making excuses.
I loved the resolution of a financial question. Even though it’s not quite what I hoped for, it feels good to take steps and keep going.
I loved a quiet morning and all that it included.
I loved finding love in all the ordinary moments and facing the extraordinary.