Love should grow up like a wild iris in the fields,
Unexpected, after a terrible storm, opening a purple
Mouth to the rain, with not a thought to the future,
Ignorant of the grass and the graveyard of leaves
Around, forgetting its own beginning. Love should
grow like a wild iris
But does not.
Love more often is to be found in kitchens at the dinner hour,
Tired out and hungry, lingers over tables in houses where
The walls record movements; while the cook is probably
And the ingredients of the meal are budgeted, while
A child cries feed me now and her mother not quite
Hysterical says over and over, wait just a bit, just a bit…
-Excerpt from Love Should Grow up like a Wild Iris in the Fields by Susan Griffin
I came to Young Adult group on Thursday mentally cataloguing all the “bad” things that had happened that week. Someone stole my identity and I had to cancel my debit card. I ended up walking 9 extra miles twice in the same week, wiped out two times on the ice, and missed a chance to see people I care about when a meeting was cancelled due to the weather… and then took my frustration out on a friend, which made me feel even worse. I arrived grumpy, frazzled, and tired to Young Adult Group and barely spoke at all.
I wasn’t alone in feeling disconnected and the conversation had less of its usual energy. But we wondered if perhaps there isn’t a holiness to be found in that, too — that we trust each other enough to show up however we are, not just when we’re our most energetic, philosophical, or cheerful selves. As Susan Griffin’s poem suggests, perhaps this is evidence of love, too.
Griffin’s poem, this Young Adult Group meeting, and my trying week reminded me of a song I learned at Dancing Rabbit (based on the poem The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer). “I want to know, can you see the beauty, even when it’s not pretty everyday.” Life is messy, but there can be a beauty even in the mess, a beauty that makes it all worthwhile. Maybe that’s what beauty and holiness and love really mean – that which is worthwhile. I still don’t see much holiness in getting my identity stolen, but being forgiven by my friend after my grumpy phone call definitely felt like love.
May we see the beauty, the holy, the worthwhile, and the love, even when it’s not pretty everyday. And may we see love in all the diversity of relationships in our lives, not just the romantic ones. Happy Belated Valentine’s Day.