March 28, 2020

I Love You, Too

• By John F. Chisholm •

People are important to me. I hope that they are to everyone but you never know. I mention it in retrospection and with complete honesty.

It’s curious as I age that the friends I’ve known become ever more important to me. ‘Love,’ a word reserved strictly for family when I was young, has come to apply to a great many more. Is it wisdom, impending mortality or both that has broadened my definition?

Because love is more than just a word. It’s a view, a perspective and a light. It’s an attitude and a code of conduct, too. How strange that it takes us so long to learn it.

It’s certainly arguable that it takes generations to achieve it.

Strange, too, that an essay on farming should begin with love.

But it does. No one can farm without it. That’s because no one can nurture without it. Think about it. If anyone were to ask for a synonym for ‘farming,’ surely ‘nurturing’ would be the closest we could come.

The point was driven home when a neighbor at Town Meeting commented, “You don’t get old, do you?”

My raised eyebrows asked the question for me. Of course I age, just like everybody else.

“That farm of yours just looks better every year.”

It was compliment and a nicely turned one, too. I had to laugh. “It’s the love that does that,” I explained adding, “It’s nice to see you, too.” It was only later, remembering the conversation, that I realized just how accurate my answer truly was.

It’s rare that I get something right (just ask my wife) but I nailed that one, right out of the gate.

Love. It makes us squeamish, talking about it. Perhaps only preachers use the word in public discourse. Even they only get away with it once a week, on Sundays. Does that represent our limit for hearing about it unless, of course, it’s in a song?

Curious, isn’t it, that the vast majority of songs are about it? Turn on the radio if you doubt me.

Think of this essay as a song, then. Just don’t duck the issue.

You see, people are important to me.

In fact, I love you, too.