“And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.”
-Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
Well my friends, it’s been a tough week in plenty of ways. That includes a potential covid exposure that, thankfully, turned out to be nothing, and difficult situations at work, and the emotional transition of going from time with family in California to my life in Illinois. In the midst of all that I’ve found myself going back to poems and other places I know. I walked out to the catalpa trees. I cooked. I read some Khalil Gibran, passages I’ve loved since before my teens. All those habits are like paths through the woods that I’ve walked before: they’re new each time, with the trees whispering different sounds, but they’re also familiar in the way they turn, they way they offer, walk here.
Just now, I like reading Gibran’s lines as an invitation. If we were at the beach about to make the kind of sandcastle that’s big enough to climb inside, and you asked, “How?” I might suggest “We could find driftwood shovels.” Many Gibran would suggest, as one though not the only way, “With love.”
How to move the sand?
How to wash the dishes, cook the onions, sweep the floors?