“I wonder…is love innate?” I asked myself as I watched Halah sleep.
She lay curled up in the suede chair pushed into the far corner of my room. I could hear her snoring and occasionally she whimpered within her dreams. Her beautiful blue hair glistened under the beams of light falling through the mid-afternoon blinds. There was no question about her; Halah was born knowing how to love devotedly. Yes, I had to teach her many things. Potty training, fetch, high five and sit… but I never taught her how to love me with those yellow gray eyes or lick the tears from my cheeks until I smiled. She knew more about the matter of love than I could have ever tried to teach the girl.
I had previously concluded that people were born without the slightest idea what love was. How could we know love, and understand it but be so evil, vicious and cruel. It was not possible. We come out screaming and crying, wet and ugly… not a moment to spare for our poor mother’s labor. Straight to the tit we go as hungry selfish unloving babes. That’s certainly not love, and if we were born with love already inside us then how can people live their whole lives and never know what it is. So, today I’ve been thinking about it again. A part of me wants to believe that love is within us from the very moment our existence was formed. The other half of me knows that is far too kind and more than overtly hopeful in the least. I have this idea though.
Maybe we are born with love. Maybe we are actually good and there is this bright light within us from the very beginning. But maybe…before crying babes open their newborn eyes, before anyone can ever see the light, before this sparkle has a chance to shine for another, before we even know what it is… it goes out. Love is too valuable of a thing to just give away, right? It is. No one drops love at a stranger’s feet, like pennies sliding unnoticed from a soft hand’s grip. No one just gives love away. It can only be because we had to fight so very hard to find it in the first place.
I mean, it all makes perfect sense. We live to learn to love. We live to smile and spread joy, warmth, and meaning throughout the world and those that surround us. We were made to share what we have and know. Nothing could be truer, and it has been said many times but- all we need is love. No one needs anything that they are not in themselves already or have not ever experienced. So we’re born with love. We never actually lost it, we just had to find it first. If it weren’t for love and the journey it provides each of us, I can make a bet that life would not be as long nor worthwhile. So today I believe the best in humankind. Love exists within us all, you just have to find it for yourself and then you will know.
“Hey little booger,” I smiled at Halah’s outstretched arms as she yawned, awakened from her nap. “You wanna go outside and play in the sun? It’ll be cold before you know it, Halz…”
She looked at me with understanding but decided not to move in acknowledgment. She didn’t fool me though. I stood from the bed and felt my knees ache as they straightened to hold the weight of my body. Right as my hand touched the light blue pack of Marlboro Smooths on my nightstand I heard her collar jingle. She leapt from the chair and bounded in my direction. She wasn’t being left behind. Halah was always predictable, yet never dull. She slid past my legs as I opened my bedroom door and pranced through the kitchen towards the backyard. But she turned and made her way back to my feet before running through the cracked white door.
I really need to see about having that fixed. During the extreme months of heat in August and September the door lacked the proper weather stripping. Our electricity bill was high and nasty bugs were finding their way through the crack inside our home. But now, after our ever so delightful handyman (who I might add is potentially mentally impaired and arguably high on marijuana every time I have seen him) found it in his schedule to be handy and fix the door…well, now the blasted thing wont even stay shut. For Christ’s sake… I would have preferred the crack over waking up to an open invitation for heat, critters and creepers (the human kind). But some things just aren’t worth worrying over I decided. So I lit my cigarette and let the smoke drift through the open door and inside.
I should really see about getting that fixed.
Halah smiled up at me, mouth full of her pink and black tennis ball. I ripped it from her bite and flung it high into the air and across the yard. It was time for some fetch.