The vast magnificence of Love is a power that has never been fully understood or explained. It is an idea, a feeling, an ethos, a concept - and it is not tangible.
Even though it is one of the most powerful emotions on the planet – it is not quantifiable. Not in actual scientific terms where a chemist could put your ‘love’ in his test tube and weigh and measure the love you feel for your partner, child, parents or anyone. And that is why, even the person you profess to love has no idea of how much you love them.
You own your love. It is your sorrow, your joy, your suffering and your delirium. It is your dragon to fly. It is your unicorn to ride.
Where does this love come from? Where does love exist in our body? Is it in the cells, tissues, muscles, nerves, organs, brain, skin? Where is it that I feel the impending loss of my daughter as she leaves home to start her own young beautiful life? Each morning I wake up and a different part of me is hurting. This morning was an ache in my chest, yesterday was my lower back; the day before that was muscular weakness all over my body, and so it goes. Am I just manifesting all these crazy symptoms because my mind is subconsciously telling me that I am untying trillions of knots that bind me to my baby girl? Each knot that is made of cells, tissue, blood and memory; it hurts even to approach the mammoth task of getting my hands bloody and starting the process of unraveling these ties that bind … my chest begins to hurt and my eyes begin to water.
Nothing prepared me for being a mother; I have just fumbled my way through this complicated labyrinth successfully and many times unsuccessfully by sheer luck. And more than the primal instinct of keeping my little cubs safe, I have been confounded, soaked, seared and stunned by the magnitude of the Love I feel for these creature that I birthed. There is nothing that I would not do to keep my babies safe and healthy. Personally for me something solidified when I became a mother, it’s a role that has let me explore the depth, height and width of this emotion being discussed – Love.
I have read enough Khalil Gibran and Rumi to be even romantic about the concept of my babies flying out of the nest. In the same spirit it is my unending love that wants my little girl to go out into the world and find her place, her identity. How do I quantify my limitless love for her? I want her to learn the ways of the world, explore her potential and become the woman I know lives in that young person. The woman I know I helped shape. I know she will be kind, savvy and magnificent. How do I explain to her that she carries me along with her - that unconscious turn of her head, the thoughtful gestures she makes, and her smile - I am always there within her.
It is a rite of passage – this leaving, this separation.
For me it just reinforces that I am going to wake up each morning and feel a vacuum in my home, mind and body. The physical emptiness of the presence of my lovely young girl with her long limbs sprawled about the home, or those middle of the night raids for a snack, walking into my room and regaling me with stories about her day, shopping with me for my make-up and clothes, advising me on ‘mom, ummm…maybe the other shoes’, correcting my use of current teen slang, reaching over and silently fixing the glitch on my laptop, or introducing me to my Bitemoji Avatar… just her presence that gives me my identity as her Mama - to date my favorite.
And as she goes off to join this world of bigotry and natural disasters, I wish I could protect her from every negative experience. However, both she and I have to learn. We have to understand that only out of change will there be growth; every new experience - good or bad - is going to reshape ideals; adversity will build character and failure will motivate; creating and maintaining new friendships will enrich; loneliness will enable the search within; curiosity will break boundaries - anything she wants to achieve is possible; there will be times of extreme joy and freedom, and there will be times of sadness and isolation - both for her and me. And that is life. And this letting go - is Love.