Love leaves no heart a virgin.
Our hearts have been butterflied, tossed over an open flame, pan-seared, oven-roasted, skillet-fried, pickled and poached. We’ve obsessively ruminated over every aspect of our experiences.
We vividly remember the sound of every unwavering sizzle and crackle, the height of the flame, the smell of the smoke and the feeling of relentless heat.
To love someone in such a profound way that it awakens an aliveness in us that no predecessor ever has is a beautiful experience. Yet, when mutual respect, consistency, reciprocity, kindness and honesty aren’t present, there comes a time when we must swiftly exit through the backdoor of the kitchen and escape the Mojave heat.
Many musicians, poets and writers, male and female alike, have contemplated about love and loss. More specifically, where love goes when a relationship ends. This particular topic is timeless, but it’s also subjective. There is no absolute truth.
We all must find our own unique truth, with the goal being to heal and become the highest version of ourselves.
We can’t drown in love, wallow in it or carry it around like shrapnel.
So, where does love go when it’s time to move forward?
As I’ve curiously explored life’s mysteries and complexities, I have found Mother Nature to be my personal answer to this question.
Love is energy, and it can’t lie dormant. It must keep circulating.
I’d like to think that love recycles itself into the sun. I imagine it flows through the rivers and rides among mountain hills, canyons and caverns. I suspect it powers the wind, blowing fresh life and love into us.
I believe it’s a subtle reminder of love, each time a fall leaf gently lands on our heads or when a snowflake melts into our eyelashes. I am certain love’s magic is present, when rocks are skipped, campfires are started and trees are climbed.
It’s alive during each ocean swim, mountain hike or stargazing adventure. And each time a lovely soul sits on a sidewalk or park bench and beats a drum, plays a harmonica or strums guitar, they are playing the mystical tune of love.
It’s no coincidence that nature is so powerful, magical, trans-formative and kindred, nor is it an accident that taking a stroll through nature feels a lot like coming home to family.
So, the next time you feel the wind whispering truth into your ear, the sun restoring what feels depleted, lush green grass massaging life into your naked toes, hear a bird singing the blues in a key found only in nature, sink your teeth into a fresh garden vegetable or greeted by a single river drop splashing a hello upon you, remember where the power comes from and why it feels so kindred.
Nature holds the greatest in us all—love. The collective stardust of all interconnected souls. Wherever we are in our journey, nature will meet us on our own unique path.
Go outside. Walk with her. Lose what needs to be lost and find what needs to be found.
Our mystic healer, sacred source of peace, transformer, secret keeper, pastor, therapist, muse, mentor, poet and faithful friend, she is always just a doorknob away. Though we don’t utter a word, she knows our souls. She understands our mysteries, our contrasts and never sits in judgment. Whether we are atop a mountain, arms stretching upwards in a sun salutation or we are on our knees, fresh mud painting our foreheads, we come as we are, and she allows us to be. She is present as pieces of us die, and new parts are born in her womb.
We must keep searching, dreaming, reaching, climbing and evolving. We must keep challenging old perspectives and finding new ways to heal and bring joy into our lives.
Though love has tried to make a meal of us, here we are.
Just as a single purple flower survives a harsh winter and stands upright among piles of snow, here we are — still standing and still burning.
We are still burning in passionate, curious and productive ways. If the world should smell smoke, it’s not from our charred hearts. It’s smoke from the internal fire that refuses to sit on its hands and quietly recede into the shadows. The fire that keeps searching for deeper meaning, greater understanding and peace, regardless of the path we choose to take or the lens we use to view the world. There is no flame retardant capable of putting out our fire or preventing it from spreading.
It’s only a matter of time before we blow the damn roof off.
Whatever your situation, whatever brings you here, I implore you to start with one walk in nature. Let the colors of your frameless painting bleed and burn a tattoo into the infinite universe.
Author: Melissa Lane
Apprentice Editor: Staci Lerch-Moist / Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Holmes Palacios Jr./Flickr