Life is Love, Love is Life.

Time has escaped me as of late! It has just tick-tocked right on by & I have dearly missed sharing my Wildwood Acres updates with friends & family. This is what happens though. As the holidays approach, we begin spending more of our free time at social gatherings, traveling to be with friends & family, decking the halls & crafting homemade gifts for the ones we love most. Man! We are incredibly blessed to have such a strong network of loved ones near & far. The holidays – Thanksgiving & Christmas especially – are always a cherished reminder of the importance of surrounding ourselves with love. And that’s what I want to talk about in my blog this week.

I believe in the power of love. Love is what makes this life worth living. It is the one thing that can lift us up & carry us through the painful hardships we must sometimes face in life. Love feeds our enthusiasm & elevates our celebratory outlook during the glorious times in life. Even when we don’t feel it or see it or focus on it, love is everywhere, always. It’s between friends & family, pets & pet parents, animals & earth, earth & sky. Love is life & life is love. Yes. It’s cliché, but oh so fantastically rooted in truth. I’ve had the pleasure of being surrounded by the power of love in so many different facets recently. A couple of weekends ago, we enjoyed an early “Friendsgiving” celebration with our Virginia family & as always, it oozed sincerity & heartfelt togetherness. The idea that we somehow find goodness in complete strangers, then build on that goodness by sharing & trusting & growing into life-long friendships, unbreakable connections, is a perfect example of the authentic power of love. We just returned from our annual trip to the Buckeye State where we visited family for Thanksgiving. Surrounded by parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts & uncles & friends. We enjoyed a birthday party for our precious Firefly who turned 3-years-old on Thanksgiving day! How wonderful is that? Being able to share & celebrate the life & love of this precious child we have the honor of raising, is just miraculous to me. Assisting my mother, learning from her experience as she diligently & lovingly prepares yet another massive, delicious meal & joyful home experience for all of us on Thanksgiving is the total reflection of the truest kind of love. We rejoiced in the wedding of our cousin Emily to her adoring sweetheart Peter over the weekend in Michigan. Nothing highlights the sanctity of love like witnessing the joining of two separate souls on their wedding day. I feel blessed to see two people commit to one another based solely on the magic, the mystery of love. We attended a memorial open house for an extended family member who lived such an extraordinary life rooted in family, art, culture & experience. To see his world through the eyes of his loved ones via pictures & writings & art collections & his children & grandchildren is so uplifting. The legacy of love he leaves behind is earnest & inspirational & most importantly, felt vividly by all who knew him. He lived a life based on love.

So, I took a long walk yesterday. I felt raindrops on my face & I splashed in puddles with Jasper. I happily took notice of all the trees, still hanging on to their fall leaves. I examined the agave & St. John’s Wart Josh transplanted before we left for our trip & I stopped to smell the roses that are still blooming outside of our window. I gathered pinecones & raked leaves into the compost pile. I met the girls halfway down the driveway as they made their way up from the mailbox where the school bus picks them up & drops them off each day. I snacked on toasted marble rye from our favorite bakery in Dearborn Michigan, sent home with us by the Mauer grandparents before we hit the road on Sunday. I topped it with my favorite cinnamon apple butter made by the Victory Grange folks during this year’s annual Apple Festival in my old hometown. Mom sent home a few jars with us when we left Ohio on Monday morning. I sipped on sassafras tea, roots grown deep & harvested by my own two hands right here at the homestead & I sweetened it with a deep red honey, generously given to us over the weekend by our little cousin Rosey who harvested it straight from her honeybees all the way in Hawaii! I went to bed last night & thought about my day. Big & small, I am living love. Thankfully, I have no choice. After all, it surrounds me – everywhere I look, everywhere I go.

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