How do you define love?
Before we got married, people told my soon to be wife that she shouldn’t expect anything about public affection from me considering that I am a Highlander and being one, I am predisposed to keep my feelings in check. I would probably not hold her hand, much less kiss her in public or something in these lines. Being a mountaineer, I am supposed to be stoic and expected to maintain a façade of indifference. I was no lowlander with their overt external means of showing love. She was told that I’d be the rock solid silent, brooding partner; always there for her forever but in the way of public or private declarations of love, I will be passive.
We both laughed at those words then.
Oh she knew of course about the stereotypes of highland men. There is truth there. I know. I am one. I lived most of my life in the culture. People might take offense about this. It’s not a generalization. But there is some truth in here.
But this is not a piece about that.
It is about love.
I met my wife when I was about to give up on love. Cliché, perhaps but it’s the truth. Frankly, I thought that my lot in life was to spend it alone. As a traveler perhaps. Or a struggling writer. A vagabond… maybe.
She took me out from that path. Loved me fully in a way that gave me direction in life. She saved me in so many ways.
I often wonder what she saw in me. I was a fat, balding man (still am) that had no direction. She is a pretty woman, former beauty queen, bright, sunny with the world at her hands. Yet she chose me.
I asked her a few times. She says that love doesn’t choose… that the heart knows when it meets the other one that completes it. That we are soulmates.
What is love?
We love the outdoors.
She loves sports and I am not really sporty.
She knows aesthetics and fashion. I know nothing of fashion and she gave up trying to dress me a long time. She just says that as long as I love her, I can wear all the sports jerseys and baggy old shirts I want.
We love hiking, camping and being one with nature. We don’t care much for social gatherings. We both prefer the solitude and the intimacy of personal interactions. I see you, you see me. We communicate… we make bonds.
We butt heads on parenting.
We love our kids.
We sulk, make amends and repeat the same process all over again.
I can’t say how much I love my wife. She was there when I was lost, she is here now in one of the lowest points in my life. She gives me the strength to face the trials that life has cast my way. And she holds my hand, smiles and tells me that everything will be ok.
If that isn’t love, then I don’t know what is…