My heart is like a singing bird
whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple tree
whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
that paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
and peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes;
in leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
is come, my love is come to me.
~ Christina Rossetti
Why do we call it falling in love?
Because it’s unexpected, unplanned, unpredictable, unintentional, unavoidable, irreversible, uncontrollable, disorienting, not particularly graceful, downright awkward. Because it takes us deep down, ready or not, makes us vulnerable, leaves us breathless and disheveled and maybe bruised, shakes our sense of direction, scatters our belongings, shatters our composure, scrambles our words, rearranges our schedules. Because it brings us to a level where we see things from a different angle, puts us in a position of reaching for a hand up, insists that we take a minute.
Sometimes, it sends us sprawling and no one even notices, and we dust ourselves off and move on quietly with what shreds of our dignity remain. On occasion, it lands us at the feet of some kind soul who will help us to both laugh at ourselves and pick ourselves up. And once in a miraculous lifetime, it throws us into the arms of that one person on earth who is for us, only for us, for right that very moment, for all time.
image by Rebekah Choat
and now November —
darkness falls and the night draws,
as you do, nearer.
~ Rebekah Choat
My heart is like a swinging door
that fronts on a well-traveled street.
My heart is like a wooden floor
that bears the marks of many feet.
My heart is like a front porch step
where friends may gather as they will.
My heart is all of these, and yet
there is another chamber still.
Build me a courtyard hidden deep;
plant it with herbs and flowers fair.
Set unicorns to guard the keep;
summon a griffin to mind the stair.
Lay seven spells upon the gate;
veil it, that only one may see.
When last he comes for whom I wait,
then let my love come in to me.
~ Rebekah Choat