In the beginning, back when we are still untouched and unknowing, love doesn’t seem like something we’ll ever grasp. No matter how eager our hands are, no matter how our hungry bodies howl. Back when we’ve only known our romance in books, or sitting in movie theater seats, or in imaginations, it all seems wildly out of reach.
Until the day it isn’t.
Until the day Love prances in unannounced and your world is suddenly in technicolor. You didn’t even know you’d been looking at all that grey before.
We toss our hearts on sleeves like they are patches for our denim jackets and loving someone loudly is in season.
We think this is overdose, this is the ultimate high with everything bubbling up over the sides of an iron cauldron. This love thing, it’s got to be a spell, we think. This love thing, it’s got to be some kind of magic that is impossible to recreate. You will never feel this way again. It would be against nature.
But as so many bright-eyed and beautiful things do, it comes to an end.
Love walks in, and sometimes without even a goodbye kiss, it walks back out.
You look back at all your supposed forevers and come to a shattering realization: nothing is promised. Even when Love tells you it is. Even when Love crosses its heart.
You decide to put your feelings in hibernation. You decide on eternal winter and keeping the doors sealed shut. You know better now. You refuse to be Love’s fool. You are nobody’s fool.
Until the day Love, once again, taps at your window.
You recognize it instantly: the way it smells, the way it tastes, the way your head is spinning and you’re forgetting your own name.
It’s all too paralyzingly familiar. But now isn’t the beginning. You’ve lived through the aftermath. Your heart flips, but it looks around the corner first.
You love with a gentleness. This time, you aren’t crossing the street with both eyes shut. This time, you are checking. This time, you are loving without being blind.
Maybe this second time Love will be better. Because you aren’t falling for just any whispering of sweet nothings. You are falling for sweet somethings. There is substance here. There is foundation here.
So what if you aren’t rushing to plan Love’s picnic? You are turning over rocks to see if black widows are sitting in wait. Maybe there is a quiet kind of power to your cautious love. Maybe there is something beautiful here, here in your slow steps. Here in your second time.