17 Nov 2022

Just two old folks, holding hands as they venture out for an adventure. So much of what is sold to us as ‘love’ focuses on the young and the physical. The butterflies and nerves of a new romance, the excitement that hits each time before you get to see your new love. The passionate ecstasy of lovemaking, This is the image upheld, this is the dream on offer. You can see it in the way that movies end; the characters that readers, viewers and listeners cheer for; the prevalence of dating apps imply it; kitsch cards and gifts and traditions dish it up.

But reality is both and at once less rosy – and far more beautiful.

Love – to my mind – is the friendship and companionship that outlast the fickle vagaries of mere friends and acquaintances. Love is forever that space of gentleness that make silences comfortable moments filled with understanding. Love is the endless exploration of familiar mysteries, the unpacking and deepening understanding over time of that remarkable other that has taken hold of your hand and heart.

I wish I’d known that the picture could not be seen but could only be known instead; not felt on the surfaces like a fiery but passing flame, but known as deeply as the light in an eye.

I watch them pass and they make me happy. Happier than the new couples and the blushing bride. Happier than the two teens tonguing each other on the park bench like cows licking salt. Happier than the rush of a profile swiped correctly.

I watch them pass by and my heart skips with them.