Understanding Love

A letter to my mother.

Dear mom,

             I know I’ve written you lots of texts, letters, cards, e-mails, and had many conversations with you.  But this is a special one.  This is one we’ve never actually had.  One I’ve had in my head, but never shared.  You do that right?  You have conversations in your head?  I know I do.

A conversation:

When one is younger, a child, do they really understand love?  Without the same knowledge or experience as they will have when they grow older, only having the basics of recognizing and understanding emotions, do they really understand the depth of love?  Probably not.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t feel it.  Can’t know what it is – what it feels like.

When I was younger, I knew I loved you.  A young child who didn’t have much knowledge or experience yet in the world –  knew that she loved you.  I thought I knew what love was then.  Now that I’m older . . . do I understand love any better?  Well yes.  Do I understand it as fully and completely as I know I one day will?  Not yet.  I am still learning.  Learning from you.

I know I love you.  I know it because I know the feeling that I had when I stepped into the car after a long day at school.  I know it because I know how it felt when I came home to a kitchen with fresh-baked cookies on the table.  I know it because on a bright, hot stage, singing into a dark abyss of faceless strangers, I knew one of those faces was yours.  I know it because I know the feeling of being far from home, but feeling closer when I hear your voice.  I know it because, when I see you, I am home.  No matter where I am physically, I am home.

That’s what love is.  Feeling at home.  Yes, it is much more complex than that really.  More complex than a young child, which I still am, can truly comprehend.  Hard to understand, and ever more difficult to explain.  But in a swift word; that is what love is.

Home.

 

 

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