If I doubted before, I am now assured.
Not cocksure, but a believer.
Beneath trees dressed in mist, I walked on mushy earth and in clouds that reached below my feet. In Mariposa Grove, the trees are rooted to long-ago generations and are witness to eons far gone. There, trees are tall enough to see the far-off clearly, even on the foggiest afternoon.
I found I had no lens to capture their whole. I never got a just-right angle that enveloped the entire perspective. The fog provided plenty of interest, for sure, but it kept me from nabbing the broadest view.
I remembered this when I sat down again at home to write about love.
What had previously popped into my head and spilled out in page was this:
A cowboy once told me that there’s no truth to love. He claims it is mainly in the imagination, steered to the front of the mind by desire and the comely swagger of romance.
“Steady,” he said, “Don’t go that way.”
“Why not? ” said I.
“Love is a bad habit that keeps you coming back even when you know it ain’t right,” he replied.
That seems harsh.
“We put blinders on horses so they aren’t distracted or spooked. That’s what love does to people. You only see what your rider wants you to see.”
I replied with my short take on love:
“It’s like a roller coaster, and you’re in the cart screaming to beat the band and your hands go above your head on the downhill and you can feel air between you and the seat. Then you hit uphill and you hear the clickety-clack of the chains as they struggle to pull you back up. It seems as if you’re not going to make it when suddenly you look around at the grand view from the top and you slowly feel the momentum start again.”
He didn’t buy it.
Here’s his next vision of love:
“It’s like riding a saddle bronc. That’s the toughest event in the rodeo. You’ve got to sync with a being nothing like you. You say a word to the good Lord before the chute opens and just hang on. You never know what a bronc’s gonna do. There ain’t a rider that can’t be throwed and it’s a damn hard landing. Gravel don’t taste good–nobody comes out feeling very good at the end.”
We bantered, back and forth, but I failed to persuade him that love was worth a chance. He was as done with it as he was the circuit.”
Feeling unsatisfied with my recollection on paper, I looked out at the early snowfall. The storm had moved out and in the clearing light I saw the far-off peaks had gone from snow-capped to snow-dressed overnight.
Then came to me yet another way to think of love. Maybe love is what you see when the fog of desire lifts slightly and the storm of attraction begins to move on. Could it be true that love gives a broader view of things and is strong-footed against the fog and storms of life? If you stand tall and on your own and allow your years in life to give perspective, can you get the just-right angle and see the whole of love?
Oh yes. To see love clearly.
I could be accused of being a romantic–hopeless, hopeful or otherwise.
But I’m a believer.