Tenderly I open pages aged delicate. More than words, more than poems, songs of two hearts overflowing... the love of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning spilling out in ink. She wanted so wholly to please that for so very long she could not even bear to show him those of these that were hers, lest they not fully express the soul music she longed to sing into his as if a bow across heartstrings.
Among the leaves of print I find a note card... adorned with roses stained by time. Flowing script speaks of the sale of an estate. Between the lines I read love. Time is but air. We must breathe it in, drink it in, feed it to our hearts, drawing it into our deepest core... or it is gone. It does not come again. It doesn't linger by the path as we hesitate. It is simply for that moment. Followed by another... and another. Until a river of months and years and lifetimes have been swept in its current.
Now is now. Now is the moment to listen rather than hear, to hold rather than loose, to gaze rather than glance, to love rather than feign... neither deflect.
And if many, many more nows are to come, then when journey's end bumps against your toes, the nows will have bloomed into a garden of beauty... a life lived so abundantly that it will carry on beyond your nows, lush and fragrant, for those you love.
I closed the tattered cover and placed the treasured pages back on the shelf... the note still keeping its place. I wonder what it marked.... what sentiment had been meaningful enough to cause one to want to travel across these words again, for every page offers a wealth.
Words can be art, music, life... but perhaps it is the space between them which sings sweetest.
May you hold hands this day,
Sharing with you a few of my most treasured authors' words of love. Happy Valentine's Day.
"Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are -- chaff and grain together -- certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away." ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another!" ~ Jane Austen
"Something we were withholding made us weak, until we found it was ourselves." ~ Robert Frost
"When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew." ~ William Shakespeare
"...and clung more closely to the dear human love, from which our Father never means us to be weaned, but through which He draws us closer to Himself." ~ Louis May Alcott (Little Women)
"It is not the things you have that make you happy. It is love and kindness and helping each other and just plain being good." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
"The heart, like the mind, has a memory. And in it are kept the most precious keepsakes." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"To love at all is to be vulnerable." ~ C.S. Lewis
"Where thou art, that is home." ~ Emily Dickinson
"Who so loves believes the impossible." ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"’Tis the human touch in this world that counts, the touch of your hand and mine..." ~Spencer Michael Free
"Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love." ~ William Shakespeare