Last night at 5:00 am I came to some (I'm just sure) very profound conclusions as I lay in bed, watching the Caboose systematically push the Handsome Prince off the edge. It was difficult to return to sleep, as she was using me as her kicking post.
I've been reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift From the Sea in bits and snatches as I could steal the time. (OK. It's always behind the locked bathroom door, and sometimes it involves chocolate.) This is a good book to read in bitefuls, as it gives one a lot to ponder.
I'm only on pg. 95, but I can already recommend it as a "Must Read" and give it a rare 5 star rating on goodreads.
I've also been really studying the Book of Mormon, and writing my insights as I go, and after two months can say that I'm in 1 Nephi, chapter 8. Maybe slow, but I'm not planning on going anywhere real soon, so I have time. This also is a 5 star, and has changed my life more than any other book.
Maybe my deep insights last night are only meaningful because I came to them myself.
Anyway. In the Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindberg reflects on a Double Sunrise shell that was given to her by a stranger. Both sides of the beautiful bivalve shell were beautifully, perfectly matched, with "three rosy rays that fan out from the golden hinge binding the two together."
This shell caused her to reflect on the pure unity in the beginning of a relationship. The high of finding a new friend, or falling in love, or the first days of a new baby. The time when it seems as though it is just the two of you--when you exist only for each other.
She went on to say that this doesn't last, couldn't last and shouldn't last, as the relationship deepens and changes, etc... I agree. But I was thinking about this beginning love, and how sweet it is. It is the solid, foundational binding that even deeper love can build upon.
The author spoke of our desire for this "one and only" kind of love, how our kids want to be "the baby" again. How we sometimes struggle to keep the first love and mourn its loss in marriage, when we need to merely revisit it occasionally and move on to deeper, maybe more functional love.
I then reflected on the counterfits of this love. How, when it changes in a marriage, some seek another "first love" experience and leave their companion.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh spoke of our need to periodically revisit this foundation with our husbands and children, to strengthen the foundation and renew the relationship, but that we shouldn't try to stay there.
This is where the Tree of Life, and the Living Waters analogy enters into my thinking. John's vision in Revelations speaks of it, as well as Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon which expands on it and explains it a bit.
The pure love of God.
It's a powerful force that no one can live without, even if it is mislabled or unrecognized as such.
I think it's profound that the Savior would offer the living water to the woman at the well, who had gone from man to man seeking it unsatisfied.
We should grow from the little seed that needs "one and only" love, to the mature plant that can give this love and teach others how to give it.
I've felt that pure first love many times as a daughter, wife, mother, sister and friend. It is a physical, emotional, spiritual ONENESS that can't be described or improved upon. It is a time when Heaven seems so close. Things are so right.
I've also felt that love from my Father in Heaven, and it is the same love.
Except in the situations where I've felt my Father's love, I have found that it is the most satisfying when I am the giver--though many times it is impossible to seperate and distiguish a giver and receiver--each of us plays both roles.
So, my worn out conclusion, that is new and exciting only because I finally discovered it, is that we all seek that love because the pure, undiluted form comes from our loving Heavenly Father. He wants us to experience it because it leads us to Him. He wants us to be happy!
He wants us to experience it in appropriate ways over and over again so that our capacities for love can grow. So we can feel His love on a greater scale, and we can be an instrument in transferring His love in greater measure to all those around us, who are loved by Him, also.
This kind of love is paradoxical. The more I give, the more I have to give and the more I can contain in my own vessel.
All this from a seashell, the Spirit and a sleepless night!