The Day Love Reaches Across the Path

t starts sim­ply, in sep­a­rate places. The seed takes root.  It winds through the soil search­ing for mois­ture. The trunk sprouts soft and vul­ner­a­ble, then its hard case stiff­ens as the cold wind, bit­ing rain, steamy sun buf­fet it. The tree grows.

Across the path, another tree grows too. Both trees spread their boughs wide, present a bril­liant canopy, stretch in lan­guid ele­gance as the years pass.

The first encounter is ten­ta­tive, mis­taken. One bough brushes against the other in a sud­den wind. The next encounter is a pause, as the thrust of one bough embraces the push of the other.  Fric­tion soft­ens the bark where their boughs cross.

Who knows which tree bends first, or why? That’s the mys­tery of Love, the silent moment of giv­ing. First one bough bends, and then the other, and as the sea­sons pass, another bough reaches out, entwines, and the two grand trees are knit together in an embrace.

Look closely. The boughs have melted together. Sap flows from one tree to the other in a con­stant trans­fu­sion. They are one crea­ture. What hurts one hurts the other. What nour­ishes one nour­ishes the other.

he first time I met Love I almost missed it. What I had thought was Love had taken me to the wrong places, left me with the wrong peo­ple, made me try too hard, say too much, wait in frus­trated silence for the words “I love you” to recover their meaning.

When I met T., I knew that I had made a friend. I knew that I wanted to talk to her when­ever I could. I would hang up the phone and won­der why she was will­ing to let me go on and on. We laughed and gig­gled. I rooted for her to get every­thing that she wanted.  We bick­ered. The world was crisp when she was around.

Then one com­pli­cated Feb­ru­ary day she looked at me and said, “I love you.”

And then I real­ized what love was. I can’t imag­ine being alive and not feel­ing this.

Her bough had reached out and touched mine. She had bent her­self around me. The feel­ing was elec­tric. It has never left.

* * * * *

JW Rogers lives in New York with his wife, three children, three dogs and four manual typewriters. His other contributions to Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

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