Does love last beyond that tingly feeling that gathers in your stomach when you're initially infatuated with someone and are trying to decide whether they like you, too? Does it last beyond that period of time when the idea of what life could be like with them, stimulates the imagination? Does it extend beyond the curious desire of knowing how that person tastes and feels in an intimate and sexual way? Or even beyond exploring someone else's ways besides your own and learning what you will take and what you won't?
Does love last beyond knowing someone, so well, that you can anticipate their needs and desires before they do? Is it still love when they can enter your personal space without you even knowing there is a space limit? Is it still love when they make unexceptional purchases for you, like your favorite shampoo or toothpaste, without you asking? Is it still love when you are awakened with yesterdays breath and this morning's version of your new hairstyle? Can it still be love when you accept the awkward belch or emission, that shrills your ears, singes your eyes or assaults your nose? Is it still love when they unwittingly tie dye your favorite item in the laundry or inadvertently throw away that old memory you haven't worn in years? Is it still love when that hot sexual tension, that drove you to madness, comes less frequently, if at all, with more imaginative labor than before? Is it still love when taking care of the physical and emotional needs of your partner becomes the highest order of your day?
For those who have loved and who have lost their loved ones, any of these things would be greatly embraced just one more time. For those whose love warms them, even when they have not been thought of, the candle of love's light burns forever. Our happiness is knowing we were capable of love. As Maya Angelou says, "Love is a gift you give yourself."
On this Valentine's Day celebration, reach over and smell the scent that comforts you, feel that heat that warms you and experience the space that does not separate you. The gift your love one wants is knowing that you want them for as many days, months, years, as you have already shared. For me, YES, it is still love!