02 November 2007

Seasons of Love

There is always something to learn from nature about relationships, and this applies especially to the cycle of the seasons. If you live in a place where the leaves turn and fall in autumn, chances are that you love this season. Even though it’s getting colder and we know that winter is on its way, there is something fall that evokes a beautiful sense of the bittersweet, which for some reason we experience as a complex combination of relaxation and excitement, a mixture of hope for and acceptance of what is to come.

This is the phase of the relationship season that is often the most difficult for couples to be comfortable with. It’s as if they can feel winter’s approach and forget to enjoy the sense of fall as it occurs in their relationship. Fall gives us the feeling that we are going to be okay—it is preparing us for winter with a subtle reminder of spring. But in relationship, this feeling can be difficult to interpret, especially for those who have never seen a relationship through winter, and have not been around relationships that have weathered many moons.

The fall of a relationship is a comfortable settling. It is not “settling”, but rather becoming comfortable in the knowledge that to be in a relationship is to be in flux, to be in movement. Every relationship has its dark days, and also times when both partners are working inwardly, when the new growth of the relationship is being created through individual and personal growth. Often, though, when we feel the subtle impression of this reality, the feeling of impending winter, we forget about spring, and think that we have lost something in the relationship. We forget that, as Anne Morrow Lindbergh quotes Saint Exupery in Gift from the Sea: "Love does not consist in gazing at each other. But in looking outward together in the same direction."

When we first fall in love, we are smitten, we are obsessed, we cannot get enough of the other person. But if we make the mistake of thinking that that state of being is love itself, that that is what it should be all of the time, and that if that state fades, that we have lost something, we are losing out on the opportunity to find what love can really give us: joy, real friendship, intimacy, and a deeper sense of life in all its meanings. And we miss out on all the springs to come.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...