Love has a lifespan too.
If you are lucky you will know love from its infancy to your deathbed. You will know it intimately, through every season and endless years full of happiness, struggles, rage, joy and everything in between.
You are minding your own business doing your thing, living your life and not hurting anyone when suddenly things change.
Young love arrives unexpectedly, almost violently like a tornado, shaking your foundation, seducing you with her promises. You become weak in the knees, dizzy with her attention. You not only want to believe everything she says; you do, wholeheartedly. Your brain becomes mush. You can’t eat or sleep; you have found the most potent drug and you are intoxicated, with her, with her attention. You have not truly been alive until this moment and suddenly you equate your life with this love. Surrounded by sensations that are almost indescribable, you ache for more and more and more. Touch. Taste. Smell. You are ravenous and sated at the same time and wonder how that is possible. You lose yourself in her, in the dreams you share, in words spoken under the stars at night, in hushed tones and limbs intertwined. You become her and she becomes you and your breath becomes hers and her heartbeat becomes yours and you believe she will never age, she is the Dorian Gray of emotions; young love – it will always be this way.
But it won’t.
Love grows into adolescence becoming volatile and irrational. In its awkwardness it struggles to communicate and throws tantrums and tests your patience. You react in kind, also irrational. Once quiet tones become loud and harsh. It rages and tests and pushes you away. It rejects your advances and you wish you could go back to that place of innocence, but like everyone and everything, love ages and there is no going back. You wonder how you will ever get through these years.
Love reaches adulthood, becoming stable and a little boring; it saves for retirement, plans for trips and has a job, which takes away from many of the little kindnesses it showered on you when it was young. Love is tired; and other things are more important than you. But love shows up every day, steady and responsible. You wish you could have the drug of young love again, wanting to feel something so badly, but knowing it is impractical; after all, there are things that need to get done. Love so predictable it is taken for granted. But if you are lucky and tenacious, you will move through adulthood with love by your side.
Love grows old and you sit on the porch together in matching rocking chairs and reminisce on the life you have shared. Love sighs. You sigh. Soon, it will end, and when it does love will flash through your mind, like a fast, silent movie, from youth through death, frame by frame. And you will leap into the great unknown, still holding her hand.