“Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.” – Proverbs 30:18-19
- Love as an eagle.
The wind lifts me high. Height and sun become my dearest allies. Up here, I’m invincible. No other bird dares to call me prey. The slightest flap of my wings, the merest turn in my angle, and I catch a thermal. The updraft takes me into the heavens, above the bosom of the clouds, to the height where mysteries come alive in colors no other birds have seen. The thermals give dance to my ebullience and push my exuberant shout straight to the throne of the One who makes each feather able to ride the wind.
- Love as a serpent.
The cool air drags at me, transforms my lithe and supple form into a sluggish beggar: begging, begging, begging for a sunbaked stone. I curl and coil, my body, forming a spiral, hugging the warmth beneath me with as much of me as I can, drinking sunshine into my heat-starved skin. Sometimes I’m so needy. Today, I’ll be still as I wait for my lithe and supple form to return. No one can see me. I’m safe from harm as I’m replenished. While I warm myself, I can eat and sleep and grow under the watchful eye of the sun.
- Love as a ship on the high seas.
So much water. Rain and waves. So much water to fill me up, to threaten my existence, so much water to beckon me to the depths. But I will not sink. The waves toss me back and forth like an ugly rag doll in the hands of little girls at play, the rag doll forced into hands of the least popular child. But I will not sink. Within the heart of me are sailors skilled and relentless, sailors intent on dumping bucket after bucket back into the greedy sea. They will not sleep. They will not slack. They know the secret to keep me from capsizing. If it weren’t for the sailors’ diligence, I would slip without sound into the silent deep. But I will not sink. They will not let love perish on the open seas. I will yet see the harbor. I will yet find the haven. There will yet be open arms waiting for me.
- A man with a woman.
I curl her body to my side, the hourglass that has expanded and shrunk under my hands with years and babies to explain its curves. I hold her close enough that our limbs entangle, like two trees that, instead of facing the elements alone, grow closer and closer until they are one. I breathe deep. The scent of her has changed with age from crisp and youthful to soft and welcoming. My palms cradle her thigh, her shoulder. She is safe. And I am home.