I am sipping my coffee and enjoying thoughts of love, Love, and lovers. I am smiling and thinking about my exceptionally pleasant day, yesterday. My traveling partner came around after work to take me to dinner. We walked to a nearby restaurant and enjoyed an excellent meal. We talked, laughed, hung out… it was an excellent day, generally, full of well-wishes from faraway friends, sunshine, and a sense of good-natured camaraderie in the office, and joy at home. It was, in all respects, quite an excellent birthday.

A beautiful day for a birthday.

A beautiful day for a birthday.

No huge party? Nope. No lavish frivolities wrapped in colorful paper? Nope. No exotic destination vacation or ludicrous expenditures of some sort? Nope, none of that either. I got exactly what I wanted for my birthday; a great day, filled with love and affection, and connected intimate time with my traveling partner. Love is wonderful stuff. I made sure to give generously in my own direction, too. Staying on top of small details of self-care, investing throughout the day in the evening that had not yet arrived (nothing messes with romance like being cranky over some bullshit that could have been skillfully managed earlier in the day). Indeed, generally speaking I treated myself quite well and with great affection all day – a practice I am working to maintain as a habit. 🙂

A day full of choices, walking my own path.

A day full of choices, walking my own path.

The air-conditioner sitting in my living space this morning will be installed later today. Quite an excellent birthday present – and an investment in longer term quality of life and well-being. My traveling partner really looks out for me, and managed to stay in the spirit of my birthday wish for “something for my home” – and taking that in a direction I hadn’t even contemplated. It is an extraordinary gesture of love and understanding of my needs; this little apartment is very near perfect for me in most respects, but it does get quite uncomfortably hot on a warm day when the sun is beating down on the roof in the afternoon, and the open windows let in spiders as well as breezes…and quite possible more of the spiders than the cooling breezes, honestly.

The delights of the day are as flowers in the garden of my heart.

The delights of the day are as flowers in the garden of my heart.

Practical love. Romantic love. Passionate love. Platonic love. Familial love. I check off all the sorts of love I have known, myself, smiling because every sort of love I know how to feel (having felt them), I feel in the context of my relationship with my traveling partner. Every milestone I hit in life I find myself grateful to share so much of it with him. Lovers of such wit, tenderness, consideration and depth of character are not common in my experience… I find myself wondering where I fit, myself, on the spectrum of love and lovers; what will I do to return such skilled and extraordinary love in full measure? Learning to treat myself similarly well seems a good starting point – how better to understand treating someone else well, than to treat myself very well, without compromising kindness to others, consideration, respect, compassion or reciprocity? My traveling partner makes it look easy – I know better than to assume it is. There are verbs involved. Will. Choices. Commitment. Patience. Practice. Love, like life, is a journey – and it turns out that Love is one journey I can share – once I started down the path on my own.  Learning that I can’t love another any more skillfully than I love myself was a very big deal. There’s still so much to learn about Love.

Small moments of kindness, pleasure, and delight fill my heart when I allow them to fill my experience.

Small moments of kindness, pleasure, and delight fill my heart when I allow them to fill my experience.

Love? Yeah, that’s one amazing birthday present right there. I’ll have more please… 🙂