I learned the real meaning of love. Love is absolute loyalty. People fade, looks fade, but loyalty never fades. You can depend so much on certain people, you can set your watch by them. And that's love, even if it doesn't seem very exciting
Simple joy turns up in the most unexpected places. For the last few weeks I've watched a pair of Canadian geese on my journey home. I first spotted them on a cool April evening as I cruised along with my windows down, enjoying the first taste of spring in the air. After a long 12 hour shift, nothing is more relaxing than cranking the XM loud, opening the moon roof and choosing the slow lane as the fresh air blows away the stress of the day. I tend to set the cruise a little slower than most of the traffic on that busy four lane...which is probably why I was able to spot these graceful beauties. They had taken up residence in the muddy barren corner of an unploughed, unplanted field filled with last years cornstalks....and but for their graceful black heads, I'd have missed them completely. The first week, the smaller of the pair was rarely upright....sitting statue still in the mud, head down, but sitting....unprotected by nature...and guarded constantly by her partner. Grander in size...and character, he stood beside her, unmoving except for the slightest turn of his head when I'd pull the car over to watch. Was she wounded.....or ill......too tired to fly on.....or had nature helped her select the most open...and unusual place for her nesting to occur? What a lesson in loyalty I learned over the two weeks this majestic pair remained there. A lesson that often brought tears to my eyes as I thought of the fierce love...and loyalty that I found in those who lived..and loved before me. In that strong, quiet male I saw the strength of my father as he sat faithfully beside my mother for the last 67 days of her life....never wavering in his love and loyalty. In the courage and determination of that strong silent Canadian partner, I saw determination and trust and faithfulness and loyalty....I saw a partner she could depend on, when the going gets rough.....and realized that I too am that lucky. It's been over a week now since I've seen them. The last evening I slowed to watch, this time with camera in hand....she was walking slowly and honking loudly at him.....and him in turn sounding off right back! I laughed this time....thinking how much alike we were.....this very loved Canadian goose and this very loved midwestern grandma. I'm hoping she grew well enough to join her soul mate on their journey in life....and that somewhere right now, they're laughing about the work weary old lady that stopped each evening to listen to the stories they had to tell on some very beautiful April evenings!