I traveled through thickets until I came to a clearing where I found my heart, drinking from the crystal blue waters of eternal life.
I’ve looked everywhere for you, I said, out of breath.
She appeared tired, and there were wounds in her side.
What happened? I asked, stepping closer to examine the bright red blood that flowed freely from her side.
I’m wounded, she said simply. It happens. The heart will be wounded if it opens to love.
But who hurt you? I asked, ready to defend her, to find the culprit and exact due punishment.
Who? She laughed softly. There is no shortage of chances for love to lie bleeding.
Do you remember the first primal wound when those tasked with caring for you were not able, were too wounded themselves?
And do you remember the first time you opened yourself body and soul to a lover to find he did not want you as you were? If only you were thinner quieter or more compliant.
And do you remember the babies you yearned for who did not live long inside your womb?
And then she took my hand and had me feel each scar, named each one, the sorrows and betrayals, the times when someone’s best wasn’t enough. The endangered species. The no more and the forgotten. The vanishing forests. The droughts and floods and fires. The soft call of trees when they’re thirsty.
The endless wars.
But how shall we live, I cried, with all this sorrow?
She showed me how to tend the wounds. Tenderly, tenderly, she kept saying until I got the hang of it, a tender touch on the places that hurt.
We sing the old songs as the world burns, she said, as ash falls, as we drop to our knees in praise and gratitude for what we had, for what we are now losing, for what may only return when our brokenhearted voices rise in sorrow, in praise and in regret.
We return to the world raw, our hearts open because anything less would wither us, she said.
No map, just the compass of the heart. We return to nourish the connections between us, arms around each other, listening deeply to the wounds. Our love grows strong in the midst of sorrow.
We return knowing where to catch the wind for our next breath, how to hold tight in a storm, where to place our feet so we don’t stumble. How to live in a state of not knowing where it is always now and now and now and there’s no ledge no cushion no wall to lean against just letting go laughing and weeping until it hurts.
Drink, my heart said.
I entered the stream and drank from the eternal waters of life. Love never fails, she whispered. Love always wins.
There are those who are trying to set fire to the world,
we are in danger,
there is time only to work slowly,
there is no time not to love.