THE SHAPE OF LOVE : Today, Tomorrow & Forever

It was a wedding day of one of our close friends and we all gathered to celebrate. It felt so nice and happy to see the couple together, basking in the glow of their love and being able to share that joy with their entire family and friends. Young love is always and it should be always exciting, joyful and contagious. The excitement of beginning a new chapter of their lives together was evident in their smiles and it was so heartwarming to see them madly in love. I think when you see two souls in love; it is not just refreshing but also a witness of God’s goodness and affection for us. It is a reminder for all of us, that yes; this is the way love should be.

While we all were rejoicing in the happiness of the newly wedded couple, I was thinking how love transforms in various forms as our lives move forward. I see so many couples around us of different ages, lost in their little world, enjoying every moment, creating memories, expressing their thoughts and happiness in special ways, but love is what is constant amongst all, irrespective of any other criteria or benchmarks. Love, according to me acquire diverse forms and shapes as a couple matures in their relationship over years following the wedding. Initially it’s just about two of us, our own tiny world, our own bliss, dreams and adventures. We live in our own cozy bubble where we share everything from our visions, expectations to our desires. This is the phase when our love and feelings for each other gradually grows and blossoms. Our life flourishes together and we move forward in our fantasy world. We behave silly and selfish sometimes and are often lost in each other. All we want is us and no one and nothing else. In short, our world is restricted to each other and that’s how we want it to be. We don’t want it any other way and that’s how our life is perfect and complete with each other.

Slowly this newly wed phase gets over and our love starts extending its branches. This is the period we are set to welcome new ones in our life. We spring out of our shells, our family grows and now we have our children to share and double our joy. Our love and kindness floods in the form of children becoming part of our family. They are like celestial blessings as they not only make our home a place of love and laughter, but also bring new excitement and promises in our life. Our lives become more demanding with the everyday family matters and all other responsibilities. Our days are more occupied now and there are fewer date and movie nights but the love we share as a couple is still no less real than what we had before as a newly wedded couple. Rather, it is a ripened love, more evolved and mellowed due to the passage of time and the difficulties we have endured together during all these years of marriage. Even as we move through these years of marriage and family life, we learn and continue to place our trust in God and his plans for our lives together. This phase of life and marriage is as beautiful as any other and it is a blessing to witness this growth in love.

I see the next gorgeous shape that love can take is where our parents are currently. Although they become empty nesters, our parents continue to enjoy the fruits of their marriage through children and grandchildren. After years of married life, raising a family along with all the struggles that sometimes accompany, with retirement on their cards soon, and all children being out on their own, they now have more time than ever to devote for their never ending love and companionship. This phase too is amazing and certainly an exquisite gift from god. There are many beautiful years of family life to look back on and treasure the joy-filled times together. There is a deep sense of satisfaction and appreciation when they look back at what all they created and nurtured. While I pray and hope that we all reach that stage where we have more tranquility and time to spend with our families, I am so thankful for those moments, which we already have to ourselves.

Finally, I can see the most beautiful shape that long-term loves takes when I look at my own grandparents, or grandparents of some good friends of ours, both of whom have been married for over fifty years now. There is inherent sense of commitment to one another that seems to pervade these enduring relationships. After all these years of married life together, I imagine couples know just about every little detail and particularity of one another. Even with all these bared details and secrets of one another, love survives and blooms like never before. There is a deep, indestructible devotion to one another, stronger than any heartache, which all these years may have brought their way. Such strong examples of love always instills a hope that yes, love continue to grow through time and years and ages. Love never grows old. Such couples stand true to the saying that goes like ‘love can and does endure until the end.’

As I reflect on various shapes that love and marriage take on through all these years, from the initial dizzy days of engagement, to the gorgeous and grand wedding day, to the early years of family life and having children, to being married for over thirty years and being empty-nesters and grandparents, until the golden years of growing old together, I am awestruck with the beauty of all of them. Each phase of love and marriage has its own gratifications, its own challenges and its own potential to rise into a relation more pure and divine. It has the power to become what God truly intended love to be.

Love over years might take different forms; expression of love might change, preferences in life might alter, our beauty may fade and we might be weak and old but at the end its all about being in love, being loyal, being together. It’s all about growing old together, growing strong together.

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