“I will show you a love potion without drugs, without herbs, without the spell of any witch: if you want to be loved, love.” (Epistle IX)
- Hecato of Rhodes
I walk down the river some days. The rush of the water is good for thinking, and the weather has started to lighten.
Pale pink cherry blossom trees flourished along the paved river trail, fresh and aglow with life, sweetening the air with the budding scent of spring. I wore a bright green dress with pink and orange florals, and a sparkling bracelet from the Ad Astra collection – bright, sumptuous colors in what may have been a subconscious effort to shed the darkness of winter and align with the natural cycle of new beginning.
On this particular evening in early April, the light was fading. I watched a great blue heron sail on the cool evening wind over the river. A waxing crescent moon hung in the deepening sky.
The ponds that studded the river banks were alive with the chorus of frogs. Ducks gathered near the shores, pairing off to nestle in their warm little nests, and the rabbits had all but disappeared into the warren, save for a little family of three. The baby watched me with large, black eyes, still munching the greens in his mouth. Unusual to see only one baby, I thought. I wondered if he had siblings, where they were now.
I had been reading Joan Didion under the cherry trees before the light waned. This brilliant American writer, who passed late last year, draped a veil of grief over the evening that was otherwise full of life. The Year of Magical Thinking was written after the death of Didion’s husband and the sickness of her only child. In this book, she spoke of life-altering grief as though it were as routine as a cramp or a nosebleed, but her delicacy and nonchalance stung this reader to the quick.
And still, I walked in wonder, book under one arm, as the new life in the warrens and ponds and rushes fill me with hope. And joy. And love, love, love for this life that is not perfect, but is mine to live however I wish.
It feels as painfully trite as it sounds to talk about that which I love when those vicious things like grief and war swallow others whole. But there is nothing else in this world. There is nothing else but seeking things to love.
There is the silent majesty of the great blue heron, flying low over the water on a cool evening.
The distinct feeling of a hand guiding mine as I work by the window.
Someone making me dinner. Someone I love at the door. Clasping a chain around my neck.
The figures of goddesses that burn like suns from my décolletage.
The unstifled laughter of a woman.
In the face of war and pestilence, of death, all one can do is hold tightly to these things of uncorrupted beauty. Moving forward in the wake of all that is painful feels like walking off a cliff into the air. But, trust. Love is an unending well of strength to draw from.
Amare is a Latin verb, meaning “to love.” There is so, so much to love, from the moment you wake up, readying yourself for the day, picking something pretty as if choosing fresh fruits from the market. This collection was created as a beautiful reminder to yourself, your children, their children and all those who are lucky enough to be in your orbit, that whatever else may come, there is so much to love.