love is all around

Give a listen to this beautiful tune by Dave Matthews while you read the following blog post. What I love in The Christmas Song is the chorus that repeats….love, love, love….love is all around.

I’ve seen this love around me lately in the love of parents for their children. Occasionally I see a parent interacting with their child and it strikes me as something special, holy, sacred. Yes, of course, their are plenty examples of bad parents and bad children, but that’s exactly why we need to stop, pause, take notice of a good parent and good children.

For instance, there is a school near my apartment…it was that time of the afternoon when parents walk to pick up their kids and stroll home together. About two weeks ago, I saw a mom, dressed pretty hip and cool, greet her smiling daughter of about 12 years old at the door of the school. You could tell by looking at the daughter that she was the daughter of this woman. The young girl was even dressed similarly cool and hip. The mom put her arm around the daughter and they walked off together in a brisk pace. I could hear the mom’s opening and  typical question about how school went. But what I noticed was a mom that evidently loved her daughter. And a daughter who obviously loved her mom. I happened to be heading in their direction, however a bit slower. But it gave me a chance to contemplate for a few seconds this holy, sacred thing…..real, true love between a mother and daughter.

On Sunday, I took a walk to my “backyard”. You know that’s a joke if you’ve visited our small apartment on the 3rd floor in a very busy boulevard. My “backyard” is a small strip of park along a canal called the “Arsenal“. It is quite a nice place: there’s a small café, boats moored along the wide sidewalk, a stretch of garden with flowers and a small playground. As I walked passed the playground, I just had to pause to watch a very small boy struggle up the last two rungs of a ladder. His father was there….not really helping him, but ready to catch him if he fell. And sure enough, with a few more grunts and lots of struggle the little guy finally reached the platform where he could use his new skill of standing up on his own. He raised his short little arms in victory….a huge smile broke out on his face…..he looked around for anyone around, like me, who just happened to see his exploit. He just kept doing this for several more minutes….arms lifted, smiling, looking, now jumping a bit. All the while the proud dad was standing by. What I really like about this dad is that he allowed his son to struggle with this ladder, which I thought was a bit beyond his age capacity. He wasn’t tempted to make it easy for him, to give him a short cut to victory….he just watched him struggle with each ladder rung. And the pay off for him to watch his son’s exuberant display of accomplishment. Call me crazy, but I saw an amazing display of love….”love was all around”.  A wise father who loves his son enough to allow him to struggle, to achieve…even at such a young age. A little boy, who although he wasn’t displaying it a the moment, but will, with time, grow to love this dad of his, who already knows when to let go, when to not control, when to set him free….all the time beside him, just in case. A truly beautiful moment!

Sorry I have no accompanying pictures with this post but I didn’t dare ruin the moment for them or myself….

Where do you see love around you?