This I Believe

Heather - Waukon, Iowa
Entered on November 18, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: love

I believe in love. This is not to say that I believe in love as an abstract, wispy thing. I believe in the power of love. I believe in its ferocity and bite, in its strength, like a star burning persistently behind the clouds.

Love is like the master seed germinating all others. Let me tell you a story. My mother was at work. She is an abstractor. She was walking back from the county courthouse. She looked down and noticed a butterfly lying on the sidewalk. Perhaps it was a cloudy day and its color attracted her, a shred of fallen sunshine. She looked at the butterfly and thought, “I would not want to die on a sidewalk.” Being neither omnipotent nor omnipresent, I only know this because she told me later. She equated the butterfly with herself out of love. She picked it up (I imagine gingerly, to prevent causing it pain) and laid it on the grass. Did it look like a living creature dying, I wonder, or a dirty piece of construction paper? Do you understand?

Love is powerful. What else would make a giant stoop to consider the dying of a tiny soul?

Let me tell you another story. (I believe in the power of stories as well.) There was a man I hurt deeply a long time ago, so long that I can only relive it in the books I read. In using the word “man” I am grossly simplifying things, like calling a diamond a rock, but for the purposes of this story “man” it shall be. He did everything he could to bring me back. I ignored him most of the time, remembering him when he did something like a miracle: speaking to me from the depths of a mountain, from the clutches of a burning bush. He even parted the seas for me because he knew I feared to swim. I stuck with my betrayal, the bad sticking with the worse, a bur to a burning dog. Ours was a true separation. Here’s how the story seemed to end: he died for me. And then, in a love too deep for me to understand, he rose again, and that was for me too. My transgressions forgiven, he now yearns for the day when my heart reunites with his. Such a love leaves me trembling in its wake and feeling small. I am a butterfly, and a giant loves me.