Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Eighteen.

I start to think that all that matters is love. 

I mean all the loves. I mean the big loves. I mean the loves that can change minds and move mountains. I mean those loves that let you know that you are not alone, that it is all worth it, that you can hang on for one more day.

I mean the love of place. I mean the love of people you will never meet and people you have known all your life. I mean the love of the polar bears and the pandas and the wild horses. 

I mean the love of words, of a haunting line of poetry, of a story you can’t stop reading. I mean the love of abstract notions like fairness or justice or kindness, which make such a difference in the world, which change lives. I mean love of trees and hills and falling leaves and serene sheep grazing in a pasture. 

I mean love of laughter and enthusiasm and encouragement. I mean love of difference, of otherness, of the ones who don’t walk the same line. I mean love of irreverence and cussedness and the sheer refusal to give up. 

I mean all your loves, however idiosyncratic they may be, however much other people won’t get them. I love dancing in the kitchen, and eating soup for breakfast, and great racing mares. I love lurchers and Jane Austen and Scotland. I love good manners, and the English language, and people who throw off the shackles of convention. I love the simple declarative sentence, and the first moment on waking when I feel the promise of a new day, and the idea that everyone can change.

I love people who try. I love the ones who find a joke in everything, even when there’s not much that’s funny. I love small acts of kindness. I love hats and a damn good conversation about the human condition and I love the truth. I love authenticity, and the ability to laugh at yourself, and people who aren’t afraid to admit they were wrong.

I love my community. I love being part of something bigger than myself. I love that they know all my funny ways and yet they still accept me. I blew in, a long time ago. I’m not from round here. When a new place takes you to its heart, that’s a love to be cherished.

I love my humans. I love the ones I speak to every day, the ones who keep me sane. I love the ones I lose touch with and who suddenly ring up after three years and start talking as if they’ve never been away. I love that I have good friends, friends to whom I don’t have to explain myself, friends who laugh at my jokes and listen to my woes and believe in me. That may be the highest love, in the end, that true friend love. There’s nothing in the world quite like it.

And I love the red mare, because she is beautiful, and brave, and utterly herself. She’s the most herself person I’ve ever met. She lives in another world but she consents to come into mine. She is complex and nuanced and layered, but she is as real and true as any living thing I know. She is kind and sometimes a little imperious and curious and gentle and powerful and comical and peaceful. She is not like anyone else, not even a little bit. 

I love her because she taught me to be better. Because of her, I rise.

That’s a love, if you like; that’s a love worth waiting for. 

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