I’ve been thinking about romantic love lately, how its earliest parts have something precious to teach us. I remember how we wrestled in the snow with cold noses and full hearts, or how we ran through an empty corn field during a thunderstorm in the middle of June, hurling mud and exchanging kisses as the sky bellowed with delight at the freedom of the children of God.
When you’re in love, the cynic in you goes to sleep. They can’t do anything wrong: their motives are spotless, their quirks make you laugh, and their insecurities only make your love bolder. You get a vision of all that they might become, of who they are at their absolute best. But you don’t just see them that way. Oddly enough, it bleeds into your life. I remember asking a dozen people what whimsy was when we started dating. And as I look back, I think it was because my life felt something like whimsy: it rested light on my shoulders, always inviting and never condemning, smirking at me like it always had a trick up its sleeve.
Pay attention to it. And if you aren’t in the season anymore, remember it. Everything you saw about your partner then is still your partner at their best. And everything you felt about life then is still all that life can be. Cynicism gets by telling half-truths. Yes, your partner is flawed. But they are still that same human who you once met and who could always surprise you with their loveliness. And yes, life is hard. But it is still such a funny, awkward, poignant gift at that.