In February we tend to think of romantic love and our partners. In every shop the aisles are full of heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and pretty cards. We’re overwhelmed with commercials showing intoxicating scenes of lovers on desolate beaches that are intended to make us run out to the mall and buy some perfume, of course there are also roses….lots and lots of roses. But that’s not the love I have in mind as we near St. Valentines Day, 2017. Veronique Vienne said, “The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things.” I love that quote because to me it states I can love, or find extraordinary pleasure in lots of things.
What do I love? I love life and opportunity and I love the usual things…God, family, country, our community. It may seem frivolous, but I love just about everything. I even love the things that don’t love me back. I love adversity and opposition because I think it makes me more mindful of a situation and my opponents point of view. I especially love challenge and competition. We are at our best when we’re challenged to be our best. I love piping hot pizza that always burns the roof of my mouth and makes my waistline expand. I love my beagles and the coarse “beagle glitter” (or puppy hair) that they leave everywhere including every piece of clothing I own. But, of course, what’s not to love about a pet, especially when they so fiercely love us back. I read an article the other day that stated when dogs dream, they are dreaming of their owners face. Now that’s true love. There are other things about love that most of us share…like an unexpected warm sunny day in February or a call from an old friend. There’s the aroma of a home-cooked meal that hits us as we open the door after a long hard day…even if it’s just the crock pot. I believe most of here in the Lowcountry love the smell of pluff mud, even though on any given day it may be mistaken for the aroma emanating from the paper mill. For me it’s the smell of home, and when I’ve traveled away, I can’t wait to open the windows in the car and take in that special scent.
Lots of people love sports and sports teams, especially here in South Carolina…where most have a beloved college team. (Go Gamecocks!) If love arouses passion, then it’s no more evident than on the day the Clemson Tigers play the USC Gamecocks. It seems a bit silly to be writing about love in terms of sports and pets and pizza…but isn’t it these ordinary things that enhance our lives and make them fuller and richer? What do you love? It’s an inspiring question. Remember- don’t just live, create a life.