I am an Iowa farm girl and I believe that love is the organizing principle of the universe. I am not talking about a sappy feeling that may come and go. I am talking about the really difficult life and death motivation that keeps the world turning.
I believe that the rain drop so loves the earth that it is willing to risk freezing or dashing itself into thousands of pieces to get from sky to earth where it knows how much difference that love can make. The earth so loves the rain that it will struggle to open and absorb her whether she is dry and cracked or absolutely bloated. I believe the seed so loves the sun that it is willing to absorb the rain and swell to the point of splitting itself asunder to send forth a shoot, with hope, to reach out to the sun and demonstrate with life that only comes from death its obeisance. I believe that love fosters the growth that is trust in the unlimited possibility of the future. Only love can sustain the seed winter long, buried in the freezing cold. Only the love of the sun, expending itself over incomprehensible distance, can coax the seed forth come spring.
The fire so loves the forest and earth that it takes the risk of consuming it to make way for new possibility. Fire so loves the air that it will struggle for years to reach the point of volcanic eruption that lets them renew their relationship. The air caresses us in every dimension of our being, often gently, but sometimes scolding our lack of appreciation. She kisses the water, watches over, moves with and through its vast geography of tumult and tranquility in motion. The rhythm of the waves loves humanity enough to keep heart beating.
The earth takes all this into herself. She pillows the seed, holds on in fire and flood, splits wide with drought and earthquake, shudders with lightening (or spits it back) and yet is constantly working to heal herself. This is love at its most profound, fixing yourself to make it work rather than trying to fix (or blame) the other.
It is this radical demonstration of love that sustains the caretaker through seasons of feast and famine. This love is tough and it is gentle. It is eternal, whether recognized or not. Everything we do to extend and expand the existence and awareness of this love in the universe, within ourselves or among our neighbors fosters blessing upon blessing. Anything that diminishes it, diminishes all of life. Just as in our most intimate relationships it is so difficult to be loved unconditionally that we sometimes respond with anger and fear and rejection, it is difficult to grasp the totality of the universal love that sustains us. It is almost humanly impossible to trust it completely, continually and comprehensively. It is, however, here; present in our lives in every moment. The world is a better place when we recognize it, share it, and revel in the joy of it.