by the gazelles or the wild does:
do not stir up or awaken love
until it is ready!
I am spending the week in West Virginia with a group of young adults. We are painting and constructing and demolishing, lending a hand to local home improvement projects
This morning, when we arrived at the house to work, a puppy came wandering over to see what we were doing. He came right up, tail wagging, tongue out, ready to play and sniff and get his ears scratched. Someone asked if he was a wild dog.
It's a reasonable question for city folk who don't know dogs--the dogs here just wander about, sometimes in groups. If you're not local, it's hard to tell whose dog is whose. But one thing for sure, this was not a wild dog. This might be a wandering puppy, but he was clearly loved and groomed and well fed. And all that love someone had poured into him, he poured right back into us.
I'm not really a dog person, I think that's well known. But this little guy had beautiful eyes. He was irresistible, really.
The neighbors weren't as enamored of the puppy as we were. He makes a habit of getting into the trash cans and spreading garbage around. But even though they shooed him away, you could tell this dog doesn't really fear anybody or anything. He's been loved his whole little life.
So much love and affection in this wandering puppy--so much he had extra to spare, tumbling though the grass, sniffing at the paint, begging for sandwich scraps, staring into our souls with his beautiful clear eyes. No matter how many times someone told him to go home, he kept coming back for more.
Somebody had spoiled this puppy with love. Ruint him, as they say.
I think I'd like to be ruint by love...I always remember the woman's admonishment in Song of Songs: "Do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready!" But, oh! How tempting to play with love! It always seems unwise--
don't spoil that child!
don't play your cards too soon!
who will buy the cow if the milk is free?
she's not that into you!
you're just in love with love!
it will never work out!
he will shatter your heart into a thousand million pieces!
ain't nobody else out here thirsty?
I seen your twitter...
And so there I was, flirting with that puppy, painting a deck railing on a nice man's house. And while we were doing that, he and his wife were caring for their grandson. They weren't young folks, nope, this was a late in life gift of love, to care for this young man who couldn't do for himself. Love, love, spoiling, ruining love.
The wood we were painting was as thirsty as I am, soaking up every bit of the three gallons and wanting more. There wasn't enough for a second coat, and you can see where it runs dry, where the wood drank in the paint so deep it looks like it never was painted.
I'm like that, I think. parched.
Some years ago I watched a man with his grandson. Sweet and tender, careful, mischievous, they were delighted with one another, moving together with deep intimacy. That child had been loved his whole little life.
I was overwhelmed with longing, thirsty to be that child, to be loved so much.
Thirsty in a Song of Songs sort of way--adjure, admonish, discipline, reprimand all you want. Love has it's own way, it's own habits. Love pours out of those who are loved with abandon. And there are those of us who are like thirsty wood, who long to drink deeply...
Your lips distil nectar, my bride; honey and milk are under your tongue; the scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon. A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a garden locked, a fountain sealed. Your channel is an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits, henna with nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense,myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices— a garden fountain, a well of living water, and flowing streams from Lebanon.
It is the faintest of protestations: Do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready! But how can we not? How does one walk away from a wandering puppy? How do you be thirsty wood and not drink?
pomegranates and fruits and nard and saffron and calamus and cinnamon
a well of living water!
Eat, friends, drink
and be drunk with love.
but be careful what you stir up
you might have bit off more than you can chew
~Song of Songs 2:7, 4:10-15, 5:1