Summer at long last
One could be forgiven for thinking that the weather this May was more appropriate to a bad autumn or a normal winter – all that rain, the temperatures in single figures, the absence of sun and the frost at night. Today the 1st of June is actually a marvellous summer’s day with the temperature in the high teens and low twenties around mid-day. Welcome to summer my Irish friends – at long last!
A summer’s day is a day made for peace of mind, contentment and of course love if you are lucky. However, love brings a price with it. If you love someone, that means that your emotional borders, as it were, are open to them, and naturally this is a double-edged sword. To use another metaphor from a Cole Porter song – the people or person we love is literally “under our skin.” The song goes, “I’ve got you under my skin…”
I suppose vulnerability is one of the chief characteristics of the human being in loving relationships with his or her family or other cared-for ones. Our loved ones are those who make us feel most important, most worthwhile, most useful, most unique and most valued. However, because they dwell so near to our “marrow” they can hurt us the most. An unfaithful lover can wreak destruction to a person’s psyche – the betrayed lover feels trodden upon, cast aside like dirt, useless, common, devalued, stripped naked, forgotten, betrayed etc. The feelings are legion, but there is no need to go on.
We hurt because we are linked in some deep way. Lesley Garner in her wonderfully insightful book, Everything I’ve Ever Learnt About Love, a work garnered from personal experience (if you’ll excuse me the rather obvious pun), puts it succinctly thus: “You hurt because you’re joined, because there is no membrane between you, because you are part of the same organism…A child’s sickness, failure, rejection and heartbreak are experienced by you with the extra twist of impotence and helplessness.” (p 91-92)
On a personal note it is only recently that I have dealt with the “fallout” and heartbreak suffered from a relationship concluded almost three years ago. Love involves risk. Indeed, life involved risk. The plus side is that we grow as persons when we risk our “being” to the experience of love or being “in love.”
Summer is also a time for healing. We have traditionally heard about the healing power of the sun. Without it there would be no growth and no life. Sometimes when I meditate I imagine the rays of the healing sun on my face bringing light and healing to my body and soul. Perhaps that’s where I should be now – out walking in the sun, letting its loving rays fall on my face. Beannacht leat a scríbhinn!
A happy Summer picture from Kilmuckridge strand, Co Wexford three years ago. Myself and my best friend Tom's son Mark Gleeson.