I woke this morning with a headache, aching knees, aching ankles, aching back… funny, the thing that is on my mind is not the everyday pain of aging, or paying for youthful mistakes. I am thinking about love. Love is precious and peculiar, and for all the years I daydreamed about love, while dismissing it as fanciful bullshit for children, I had no understanding of what it might actually be, if I had it, practiced it, or experienced it. Love is a verb and a noun. Love demands much of us as beings, and the penalties for poor decision-making are very high. Totally  worth it, though, totally worth it.

Love is not what we think it is; love is what it is.

Love is not what we think it is; love is what it is.

So sure, I woke in a lot of pain this morning. That seems irrelevant every time I glance down at the orange knotted-cord bracelet one of my loves fashioned for me as we sat talking, while he packed his hiking kit.  Love isn’t a diamond tennis bracelet. Hell, love isn’t even this bright bracelet of sturdy nylon cord. Isn’t love the movement toward giving, the inspiration, the desire to take someone’s needs, interest, fancy, and delight and make them important to one’s own experience, and then taking action?

How is this orange knotted cord bracelet not the most precious of ornaments, simply because it is love?

This token of love doesn’t go with anything I wear regularly. It stands out boldly from my flesh. I don’t generally wear bracelets at all; I feel it as I move through my morning.  I am moved by, and aware of love with every small motion that brings the orange back into my view, or shifts the cord against my skin.  I feel a little silly, a little giddy, no different from feelings I might have were I 16… love excites me.

This morning, the pain vanishes from my awareness most of the time; because I am reminded so simply, so frequently, of how much I am loved. Love, and loving, are a pretty nice distraction to deal with on a Wednesday morning. I’m sure not complaining about it.

How often do we mess with the goodness in our experience at one moment or another because it isn’t what we expect, or what we dream of? How many tender joys are lost because they were one thing, and not another? Would you turn down orange knotted cord because it isn’t something fancier that you dreamt of longer? Are you truly open to love? To being loved?  I have to admit, to be fair to love itself, all those bitter years of certainty that love was a lie, a pretty illusion, a pointless treasure hunt – I wasn’t open to love, or being loved.  I had defined ‘what love is’ and because it wasn’t presenting itself to me in the form I demanded, I couldn’t see it when it did turn up. That is one of the saddest things about being lonely; it’s often a choice.

So, this morning I am aware of my pain, and in spite of that, I’m choosing love.  Taking a moment to feel the connection to a love nurtured, shared, grown over time; connected by a simple orange knotted cord, on a very early Wednesday morning.

Today is a good day to love.