We’ve forgotten that love and care grows things. People, too.

Many years ago, I used to have an array of African Violets spread out across my kitchen windowsill, happy in their small pots in the variegated sunlight. And I would feed them regularly, care for them. Same with my roses outside. I would lovingly tend to them. And they responded to the care and love.

It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Tend to things you love with love and care and they thrive. Love grows things.

And I wonder when did humans change? Did we once tend to each other with love and care? Truly loving and caring? I am sure that many cultures still do. But here in my culture where authoritarianism rules. Where austerity is thought to be good for us. Where harshness and tightness are evident in the faces of those in power. Here, we’ve forgotten that love and care grows things. People, too.

Love, real love, frightens us because in real love we lose control. Not in the romantic kind of love where we get giddy. Fun, yes, but not yet real love. In real love, we are no longer in power. We are no longer the center of things. When we love in this way, what we love grows and thrives and we marvel at this as we become less and less important. Not in a self-negating way. Not at all. But, in a heart-swelling way where the beholding of those whom we love fills us with the most beautiful joy. And when we ourselves are loved and fed this way, we, too, grow and thrive and flourish, just as roses do when tended and filled with sunlight.

And I think of my government and how it is right now. Tight. Austere. Fundamentalist. Authoritarian. There is no love. No true love for the people. Little recognition of our humanity. That is how it feels to this woman, to me. No love for the children, the elderly, the sick, the marginalized. Without love we will perish. We are dying.

You might say that governments aren’t here to love. And I would disagree. It is only through love, real love, that all things thrive. Love grows. Love nourishes. Love makes the roses bloom. Love is the force that blossoms and fruits trees. And don’t we want a society that blossoms and fruits?