From The InnkeepersFebruary 2020
Love is All Around
The month of February of course brings to mind the celebration of Valentine’s Day, our annual ritual of honoring who we love. Beyond bowing to the Hallmark moments on the 14th, we should take this opportunity to give gratitude for the love that surrounds us in our daily lives.
In this regard, I am reminded of the works of Brother David Steindl-Rast who writes prolifically on the subject of the relationship between love and gratitude. He says, “The heart is where we belong no matter how estranged we become. And when we are there we belong, because that’s what makes a home, home…each belongs to all and all to each….We grow in love when we grow in gratefulness…gratefulness is the school in which one learns love.”
When reflecting on love and gratitude I have only to think of how different and impoverished my life would be if I were born into a different family or in a different part of the universe and never knew the love of my parents, or my siblings. What if my extended yet close knit Polish family of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were never part of my life experience? What if my sister Sharon had not loved me enough to respond positively to my invitation of joining us in the great venture of creating our retreat center, and being the chef for the Inn at the Rustic Gate? What if I had never met Pat my spouse-our chance encounter was truly the beginning of one of the great miracles of fidelity and steadfastness that has graced the last 52 years of my life.
So indeed, as we contemplate the nature of love this month, a good practice would be to focus each day on one person in our lives, either from the past or who is with us now and loving us today, and be grateful for the love we have been shown. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on an important person/relationship in your life-close friends, a romantic relationship, family members, or teachers. If they are still alive, take the time to say thank you for all the numerous ways that they have loved you into being who you are. If they are not alive say a prayer of gratitude for how they helped mold your life experience.
In closing I will leave you with the words of ee cummings:
“be of love a little more careful than of everything”
So may it be for you.