What on earth would you liken love to? Ever since King Solomon compared his beloved to a garden of delights, poets and writers of prose have made use of elements in nature to describe their feelings of love in terms that others can understand.
In the 1700s, ‘The Ploughman’s Poet’ Robert Burns wrote:
My love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June…
These wild roses found growing behind Rainbow Haven beach last summer are more pink than red, but the effect is similar. Their petals look so soft and tender, and the buds seem especially full of promise.
Anyone who thinks love is only for the young might be surprised to learn that Pulitzer prize winner Carl Sandburg was in his eighties when he wrote these lines from Offering and Rebuff:
I could love you, as dry roots love rain.
I could hold you, as branches in the wind brandish petals.
Forgive me for speaking so soon.
‘The Poet for the Planet,’ John Denver, frequently found inspiration in nature…
You fill up my senses
Like a night in the forest
Like a mountain in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like the sleepy blue ocean…
Later in life, Denver also wrote
Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of change…
If love is anything, it’s never that way for long. Like so much in nature, it keeps transforming itself as well as those who are touched by it.
Matt Groening, creator of the comic strip ‘Life in Hell’ and ‘The Simpsons’ wrote:
Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
Though ice weasels (ermines), like this one I found last winter in the salt marsh, are pretty cute creatures, they tend to go right for the jugular when attacking. Love can be like that too.
In good times and bad, there is no denying the power love has over our lives. Perhaps Solomon, the wisest man who ever walked the planet, said it best…
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.
~ Song of Solomon 8.7
Happy Valentine’s Day!
If you’re in the mood to read more about love, here are some previous posts on the topic:
The Deepest Secret
Love at the Beach
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