On top of that, there are the different kinds of love. You might love your doctor, or love your dog, or love thy neighbour. Then there are the familial kinds of love - you love your mum, or your sister, or your child, or your spouse... Not to mention, love can come from nothing - even hate - or it can wax and wane depending on how you treat someone, or how you are treated in return.
Love can grow from nothing. My own sister and my brother-in-law used to hate one another at school, yet now they are married with children. You can fall in love with someone you've never met.
Kellie and I dated many years ago, and that ended very abruptly. I never wanted to speak to her again. Teenage angst and all that. Then years later, we started talking again via Facebook. Then we started meeting for lunch, or hanging out at each others houses. Over time, what was originally teenage hurt and despair regrew into a friendship, which then became a close friendship, and eventually, we had feelings for one another... Which built into more and more until, seven years later, here we are with Poppy.
Which brings me to my actual, long-story-short (too late) point.
Poppy was handed to me when she was born. She was covered in sludge and gore. She was a horrible cover. She was hairy, and coated in vernix, and screaming and really not the most pretty thing in the world...
Yet in that second, I knew I would die for her, right there and then if I had to. Every single fibre of my being loved this tiny little life that was just minutes old. We had never met. I had only ever seen a representation of her image on an ultrasound. I had never heard her voice, never felt her directly touch me. And yet, something in my brain told me that she is the very embodiment of love.
I know I felt the exact same way with Jaysen, Bethany and Tamsyn when they were passed to me. These tiny little things that I helped create. And yet, when you sit quietly taking stock, cuddling a tiny bundle at 2am, your heart swells at the sound of their breath, the twitch of their mouth, the flexing of their tiny little hands reaching out at nothing. I suppose there is a scientific reasoning behind it, some evolutionary reason behind loving and nurturing your genetic line... But for once, I don't care. I don't care about the reasons, the why-fors, my brain isn't interested nor bothered that it doesn't know.
I just know that when I look at Poppy, everything feels right, and good, and pure and... I don't know. Words don't - words can't - describe nor explain it. The great poets and authors of history have tried many times (How do I love thee; let me count the ways...) and yet none have ever managed to pin it down. I even tried to find something earlier that explained how I felt looking at Poppy, but the closest I could come was the first part of Love's Language, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
How does Love speak?And only with that paragraph, and this entire rambling post, have I managed to prove to myself, you can't word how it feels. It just is.
In the faint flush upon the telltale cheek,
And in the pallor that succeeds it; by
The quivering lid of an averted eye--
The smile that proves the parent to a sigh
Thus doth Love speak.