Tuesday, February 14, 2012


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.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. 
He threshes you to make you naked. 
He sifts you to free you from your husks. 
He grinds you to whiteness. 
He kneads you until you are pliant; 
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, 
that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All of these things shall love do unto you 
that you may know the secrets of your heart, 
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

"Falling in Love Rocks!"
Roadside, Boulder Canyon.
(c) 2012 Melissa Johnson.

Last year while visiting my family in Virginia, my sweetheart and I had an opportunity to spend the afternoon in my grandfather’s basement. A mixture of Salvation Army this-and-thats, tools, books and World War II memorabilia, you didn’t have to know him to see his reflection in that downstairs room.  We spent hours rummaging through his things, speculating about what drew him to one item or another, as we shared tales of a life well lived. 

Then we found it, there in a drawer; his military issue handgun.  Not surprising given Grandpa’s affinity for antique military weaponry, but there just under the clear coat handle was a gorgeous, flirty photo of my Grandmother on one side, and a picture of the two of them lip-locked on the other.  I couldn’t take my eyes off the thing, transfixed by the paradox: Images of a life-enhancing love permanently affixed to a weapon of death and destruction.  Why?

Don’t you see?” Kevin said, holding the gun in the palm of his hand.  “It’s a statement about his love.”  I still didn’t get it.  “Think about it…what did he live for?  What would he die for?  What would he defend?” 

I never really understood that kind of love until that moment.  I had dreamt of it, longed for it, read every relationship self-help book on the market and tried to convince myself that I'd found it, with no lasting effect.  But there in the basement, sharing that quiet moment, I got it. I knew that I would walk the line for him and I had no doubt he would do the same for me.  He already had. 

Our path has not been easy, especially in the beginning as we faced challenges that rocked us to the core, but our love has grown through the cracks of early disappointment.  Instead of running away we held fast to each other, strengthened by our shared experience of that which we couldn’t explain.  These became our building blocks; the foundation of our life together.  

We're planning a New Year's Eve wedding this year, a black tie affair with family and friends. I couldn't be more thrilled!  And as I reflect on how we got here from there, I am reminded that even when enduring our greatest struggles, being together has been mostly easy. Like falling rocks, we hit the ground and break apart sometimes but our pieces grow stronger and we become more of who we are. Not for the faint of heart.

CAUTION:  Falling in love rocks!