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What Is Love?

By Kassie J Runyan

What Is Love? A timeless question. And one with no clear answer. Because love is not a thing easily defined. We can argue the meaning of our love or what we believe falls into that category, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Love should be simple… and it can last a second, a week, a year, or a lifetime.

To me, love takes many forms. Many paths. Love is the touch on your hand from a friend when you need comfort. It is the joy you feel in reading the last page of a wonderful book. Watching a child that you adore as they fall asleep in your arms. Cooking a meal that you crave. The shivers down your spine when your partner runs their fingers over your skin. A conversation and connection with a stranger who is becoming a friend. The excitement to start a zoom call and see the faces of those you miss. A long hug. A mother combing her daughter’s hair in the morning. A memory of a grandparent who is long gone. A lazy day laying under the hot sun. The smell of a gas-powered mower and fresh cut grass. The warm bed on a cold day. Reading poetry written by friends and strangers. Dancing in the living room to a worn record spinning in circles. Finding just the right gift for someone. A father being proud of their child. Seeing thanks in the eyes of a man on the street when you give him your gloves or umbrella. The wag of a tail when you make eye contact with a new dog on the street, and they can barely contain their excitement of just being pet. A back scratch with the manicured nails of a grandmother. New paint. A clean house. A doctor visit with only good news. A roaring fireplace. The excitement of a furry friend when they know that you are home for the day. A hot coffee on a cold day. Exploring someplace new. Warming your cold feet on their hot ones under the covers. Breathing in the scent of an old sweater bought a generation before you. Fresh rain in a dry season. My list of what love means to me could go on for pages. Love fills my life in slight and enormous ways.

But there are days that feel long and worn out. The monotony of the pandemic we are currently in with an unknown end in sight. It makes it easy to forget the love that we swim in. Rather feeling like we are drowning in the unknown, loneliness, and congested life. This is a perfect time to stop. Stop reading this magazine for a moment. Stop being annoyed with the kids, or pets, or noise outside. Take a deep breath in and blow it out. And think through the past day… week… month… year – on what forms of love have you experienced. Embrace those. Look around you at what love surrounds you right now. Embrace it. Moving forward, take time to stop. Remember and feel and hold the moments close as you focus on what is important… what is your love?

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