Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Treasure beyond measure

There's always a mix of emotions at play when a weary traveler sits to rest and study the surrounding beauty of Vancouver and its suburbs. Many of our parks and trails are decorated with modest memorials in the form of park benches such as this one, reminding us of all that love can build, and how one's love can live long after the lover may be gone. They are all strangers to me, strange names in little corners of my country I never imagined I'd ever see. Yet the discovery of these touching mementos will probably be one of the more warming memories I'll take with me, should I ever move on from Canada's west coast. They're a testament to the power of love, a gentle reminder to appreciate the blessings that fill our lives, and not to take such blessings for granted.

I try to take a moment to read these many tributes among our many park benches, and always find myself renewing the same commitments, time after time: I will think of all the embraces that can no longer be shared, and linger in my own hugs just a little longer. I will remember the kindnesses that these benches speak of, and try to prove myself more worthy of the bounty of kindness as comes my way from she whom I love. I will rest my weary legs as my wife and I watch the river roar by, while the trees bend their branches to the wind, and be grateful for the tender hand that holds mine; for there will come a day when my hand reaches out, and there will be nothing but memories to hold on to, only memories to find solace in.

Then it will be time for a new bench to teach the lesson for another traveler, so that the civilized circle may continue, nature's beauty serving as useful opportunity for conveying the most important message of all, towards understanding the most beautiful gift of all:
the glory of True Love.

To everyone who is, or has ever been, in love: Happy Valentine's Day.

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