I never understood when my mother would say the words, “Love is not always enough.” How could it not be enough? Isn’t love all there is?
I never understood because I never felt what it was like to be holding the entirety of God’s universe in the palm of my hand, watching it spin itself sick on its axis—the moon waiting for the sun, and the sun seeking the stars, and the ocean kissing the place where our feet sink.
But the little boy tossed out a message for God on the back of a napkin from the diner on the strip. The diner with the lady with the silver hair and peppermint breath. She was always there, and that day he ate waffles with syrup and walked out with a mustache made of chocolate milk. His eight year old belly poked out proudly as he and his mother walked side-by-side. She handed him an empty cola bottle from her purse, and he tucked the napkin with the scribbled words safely inside and screwed the top on tight.
Walking onto the pier, making note of each fisherman smelling of booze on a Sunday, he finally reached the end, laughed like a grown man and tossed his heart into the Atlantic.
Love is not always enough.
The words resonate in the pit of my stomach after finishing what was left of a pint of rocky road ice cream.
I never understood until it was me standing on the other side of the sun, waiting for the moon but counting every star.
So let me tell you.
When you’re tired, and your feet hurt, and you can’t stand the thought of listening to anything but the sound of your pillow, but love wants to talk about their day, let your heart find the strength to reach its way to your teeth, and your lips and create a smile.
When you’re on the old wooden porch swing, and it’s Saturday at noon, and the birds are singing, and love’s head is on your shoulder, and you’re thinking of all the places you’ve left to go and people you’ve left to meet, let the sound of love’s breath bring you back and remind you love is not waiting for you on the other side of the fence—it’s right where you are.
When love loses in life and can’t seem to make sense of their left or their right, hold their hands in yours and kiss each vein in each wrist and look deep into love’s eyes without saying a word. Don’t say a word.
Just be there.
When love tries to fight the wrinkles forming under its eyes by wearing sunglasses for the first time in years, remind love of how honored you are to watch their canvas change, and be the one to hold it close each night.
Let me tell you, love is not always enough.
Because I held the universe in the palm of my hand, falling in lust with the call of the earth’s core. It’s deceiving, the mirage of the sun to the moon, and the moon to the sun. It’s blinding, the light from the rays…and deadly, the burn of the stars.
The lady with the silver hair and peppermint breath falls in love with the fisherman who drinks booze on Sunday and the little boy wrote a message to God, while his mother claimed that “God” is just a myth.
Love is not always enough, but when it is, be there.
Author: Emily Gordon
Apprentice Editor: Roslyn Walker / Editor: Travis May
Image: Flickr/Susanne Nilsson