Just Shelley

Simple Love

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

A couple of days ago Jeneane wrote in a posting:

That problem being that too few of us understand what it means to love. Simply to love and to love simply.

I’m not married, nor do I have a boyfriend, but it seems to me that the simplest of loves–an uncomplicated love–can’t really occur between adults. We bring too many expectations, too much background and hidden baggage into our relationships with each other. We can love deeply, sincerely, painfully, honestly, hopefully, and joyfully, but I’m not sure we can love simply, at least in my understanding of simple love.

I think we see true simple love only from very young children and our pets. Both have such minimal expectations from us: food, shelter, warmth when it’s cold, coolness when it’s hot, tenderness and care in times of illness, fear, and pain. And they give so much–total and unconditional love.

I never had a child, but have always had pets, and currently have a ten year old cat named Zoe. As an example of what I see as simple love, a couple of weeks ago I received a cardboard box containing a couple of shirts. I opened it in the living room and left the box near the door. When I returned from taking the shirts upstairs, my cat, Zoe, had climbed into the box and curled up, a picture of perfect contentment.

I’ve bought expensive cat toys and carpet condos and a fleece lined bed for her, but she hasn’t liked anything as much as she’s liked this box. Everyday, she curls up in it for an hour or two, that time that she’s not spent curled up next to me, or playing with me, or entertaining me by looking out at the birds and “chatting” with them.

I’ve not the heart to throw the box out so now we have a cardboard box next to the wall at the bottom of our stairs. Simple things: a cardboard box for her, gentle head butts accompanied by copious purring and occasional washings for me.

Perhaps I’m complicating adult relationships too much, but I don’t know of many men who would be happy with a cardboard box (though I do know of a few that seem to like dishwashing tools).

Joking aside, I’m not sure what simple love would be like between adults, but it sounds like it would be nice, doesn’t it? Probably a lot like this.

(Speaking of pets, Flightless Farrago has provided the most humorous cat photo I’ve yet seen [scroll down page]. And two virtual neighbors just brought home new furry friends: Ryan and Jonathon. Lots of gentle head butts and much copious purring to you both.)


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