I came back from a really beautiful weekend in the woods with family of my heart who know me and love me. I love them too, and this year, it really struck me that we've been a community of friends now for multiple decades.
Gwen came with me, and she enjoyed herself so much---I loved seeing her integrate seamlessly into this garden of beautiful people.
I felt like looking through my blog when I got home and stumbled on an especially beautiful piece of writing that I posted here years back, after Cat read it at Fires of Venus once. I feel the desire to repost it here, so I will. It's been such a long time since I've heard it, and I remember how much it struck me when first it was spoken in my presence:
"When love beckons to you follow him, though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth......
But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, it directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: to melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love, and to bleed willingly and joyfully."
— Khalil Gibran (The Prophet)
So mote it be.