Strength in love

DO-OVER! Did you ever proclaim that when you were a child? To reshoot the basketball or replay your turn at a board game? I'm a big believer in do-overs.  I had an entire post planned about how excited I was that it was spring. Finally sunshine, warmer weather, green grass, flowers blooming everywhere. YES! It wasn't until I started to reflect on my first winter season that I thankfully survived, that my post took a turn down the road opposite of positive. So I trashed it and started over.

This spring honestly feels sorta like a do-over for me. I will say that I'm left feeling confused over what lesson I was supposed to learn from that season of my life. I know now that I have to just move forward and not dwell on it. 

Something that came to mind this morning, while I was writing this, fresh cup of coffee in my hand was a trip we took to Ayers Rock this time last spring while we were living abroad in Australia. Like every trip I've ever taken to the desert (Mojave Desert, Sahel Desert), it was a very spiritual experience for both of us. At that time we were traveling through the Outback and my husband and I heard about "spirit animals"- a type of Aboriginal folklore. My husband had already convinced himself on a previous trip to Australia before we met that he was some sort of desert lizard, going on to explain the symbolism behind this creature and it's significance. I said, "let's do a re-do and choose spirit animals that are anything we truly feel- not necessarily mammals from Australia". After much thinking, my husband said he was a White Pine- a large tree with big, long, strong roots that is usually the tallest tree in the forest, towering over all the other trees in the forest. I decided I was a shore bird- a white pelican- whose freedom to fly anywhere, takes it migrating along the ocean and great lakes with the seasons. Interestingly enough, those Totems that we chose are very true refections of each of our own spirits. 

Rather than learn something about myself, the biggest thing I can say I learned this winter was how deep my husband's love is for me.  He's watched me fly to Malawi, Asheville, California with my backpack and camera. Tearful goodbyes, warm reunions, lots of letter writing. Before I left for Malawi, I wrote a love letter for him for every day I would be gone, giving them to someone special to mail to him, filled the house with love notes and quotes- in coffee cups, jacket pockets, cabinet shelves. No area of our apartment was left without love in letter form. Many of the quotes are still taped up. They are a reminder of the times I was gone, reminder of how much I missed him and he- me. My absolute favorite quote that still finds itself hanging in our corner cabinet reads this:

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." -Lao Tzu

I sit thankful for warm weather, but inspired by love and the empowering strength my own husband's love gives me every day. This post and these photos are dedicated to him.