Ariella is in full gleaming supernova mode at the moment.
And I can fully understand why.
Ariella, the bright and bold young aspiring actress, has just had some very exciting news, of which, unforunately, I can divulge none of.
Anyway, yesterday Ariella called because she was having a contact lens fitting in Radlett, a town not too far from me at University, and she asked if I was around.
We went for a browse around the lovely shops of St Albans, spending far too much money and laughing far too inappropriately in public, and it was just... lovely.
Her visit was only brief, so afterward I dropped her back in Radlett, but on my way back toward St Albans, I saw something which made me slam on the brakes and instantly pull over.
It was one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen.
I swung my car into the gravel car park of the great church, and slowly walked toward the far side, where the graveyard lay.
The mid-afternoon sun was low and golden, and dappled through the bright green leaves and magnolia blossoms, the light and colours dancing and bobbing around in the delicate breeze. The grass was long and beautifully unkempt, and everywhere, everywhere I looked, where bluebells, daisies and wildflowers.
This place was no place of sorrow, no place of mourning.
If anything, this place was more alive than anywhere I'd ever been.
I wandered beneath the trees and between the headstones for quite some time, in awe of the simple, organic beauty of the place, when I started to feel a small change within me.
I spent about an hour in the graveyard with that little seed of an idea growing steadily, but it wasn't until I saw this below, that it suddenly, in a powerful explosion of enlightenment, all made sense to me.
Instead of a headstone, this person had a bird bath on their grave.
Instead of a concrete block which clings to the past memory of a person, instead, they had created a way to feed, nourish and sustain life, long after the person who it commemorated, had ceased to live. Creating something which has a life that surpasses it's creator.
And that's when the pieces fell into place in my head.
Life and love are the same thing.
Love, just as in life, is perfect and glorious, yet ever softening, turning from ripe to ruin. And none can escape the inevitable fleeting temporariness of it. But in their ruin, their demise, their death, new life and new love is born. Neither are permanent... yet neither are truly temporary either. Life and love are both temporary to one, but live on eternally, being constantly rebirthed by new people, new situations, new circumstances.
Like the birdbath. That person may have died, but the essence of life is being carried forward into the birds who live and thrive from it. Becoming ripe from the former's ruin.
And in love. Perhaps we are not truly intended to be bound to one other for life. My two greatest fears/avoidances are death and relationships. My greatest fear about getting into relationships, or getting married in the future, is the fear that I will commit my soul to someone, then accidentally stumble across someone who, just by existing, is enough to tell me that the person I have committed myself to irrevocably was not and never will be 'The One'.
How if, in fact, love is a renewable energy source, that we are supposed to fall in and out of cycles of love, just like life cycles? Is it not just as natural as our propensity to love, our propensity to evolve?
Why do we fall out of love with people? Why do we die?
Because life and love are the same thing. What is ripe must always inevitably ruin, to create a legacy for the next seeds to germinate.