What is love?
The first cry of a newborn child, echoing in her mother’s heart like the ripples of a new fountain, which never cease to tremor and fill her life with the simple joy that now, she is a mother.
The beauty of a rose on a hillside, the grass nestling it against your cheek.
The tired ache of a husband, old beside his wife’s grave, longing for the vanished part of him which he will never have again.
The joy at the end of a new book, which is now a part of your soul, the people within it, a part of your life.
The still shifting of the wind against your frame as you stand on a hill, gazing out over the nation which you have called your own.
The slow rising of warm tears, melting your sight as you fall into the depths of her smiling eyes at last.
The blood falling to the ground from your friend’s throat, bubbling with the last breaths of the life he gave for you.
The pressure of a father’s head against his son’s shoulder in the last embrace of his boyhood, on the threshold of his first step into marriage.
The soft touch of a girl’s hand on her baby brother’s sleeping cheek, preceding a small, clumsy kiss through which her soul pours.
The sweat loosening the grip of the hand holding the sword between the tyrant and the enslaved.
The grume of the earth falling from the pick, the torn hands bringing bread from toil for another, a beloved, to eat.
The shrinking of a heart from an invader, saving the promised treasure for another.
The pain of a blow struck in the face of a mocker, defending the right and preserving the pure.
The glint in the eye over the grim smile of the man who turns away and doggedly chooses yet again the path of righteousness.
The tender and committed smile as the ring slips on the young girl’s finger, never to be removed.
The shaking hands clenched in prayer, drenched in tears for the sorrow of another’s toils and trials.
The comforting word returning upon the bitter lash of a weary tongue.
The hope pouring from the crushed visage of a man hanging and broken into the heart of a weary child, seeking rest.
The gentle word reaching into my secrets, laying bare to my shuddering sight the vile, mired flesh of my failures.
The strong voice beating into a rebel’s heart, washing and driving against his fears to turn him from death.
The touch of the creator’s hand on a broken life, never to leave it again.