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Love's Flame

“It’s as if every molecule–every fibre–in my body is in the process of reorienting itself to you.” –early email to my future (and one day to be long suffering) wife, from a giddy, drunken, buoyant, disoriented, besotted fool…in Love.

Thank goodness that’s over with. Not the love, mind you, just the utter discombobulating madness. The steady burning fire remains, casting its glowing warmth on every aspect of this life. Now and then, after a shared laugh or in the quiet together moments when Sonny-boy has been put to bed the fire flares up and I sometimes shake my head in wonder and gratitude.

Reflecting on that early lunacy I cannot help thinking the whole honeymoon thing people indulge in these days an entirely mis-timed waste of money. By the time the wedding takes place who really needs it?

A cultural holdover from a more innocent time is what it is. Nowadays it belongs a year, two, or five before the wedding. In my case about four and a half months.

It’s that two week period of love-drugged craziness when something so wrenching occurs within the two of you neither are fit for much else. You walk around a silly sleep-deprived idiot incapable of focusing on anything else besides the momentous magic taking place in and around you.

That’s when you should be on a honeymoon, just to get over the hump (so to speak) when you’re no good for work and a terrible boor to family and friends.

But now, looking back and reflecting, I see this love as a culmination of all love in my life. From its first childish stirrings as early as elementary school, through the pubescent lust and longing of the teen years, to the awkward missteps and then solitary wanderings of adulthood, it has been one long symphonic movement.

Along the road I often asked myself the question: ‘can someone truly love a woman and not love all of life?’ For me, the answer has been a big part of who I have always been striving to become. No.

Does a child love his or her mother? If that answer is yes then it is a love closely allied with hunger and need. Even into adolescence and early adulthood love and need run hand in hand.

Love. The wonder and majesty. The blossoming, the opening out towards that which is beyond.

However, Desmond Morris, in his ‘Naked Ape’ and especially ‘The Human Zoo’ looked at it all from a zoologists’ point of view. Why all the hubbub? Why the lunacy? Why so much ado about Love and Sexuality?

Well, he wrote that since humans are born prematurely, meaning with such a protracted period of helpless infancy, easily the longest known, the race and community (which is the means of propagating it) was best served by some way of encouraging and solidifying the pair bond between male and female. Therefore, the losing of our hairy cover and consequent heightened sexuality, as well as the psycho-spiritual charging of all things connected with the formation and maintenance of the bond between man and woman was a biological necessity.

Ouch, talk about a cold shower. But a cold mountain spring of a shower, in a leafy bower and romantic love in the air.

Cue the music. It’s Van Morrison from his ‘Life At The Grand Opera House Belfast’, and he’s singing ‘She Gives Me Religion.’

To G., with Love.