March 14, 2016

Love with the Courage of a Wildflower.


This is to thank the persistent late night phone-callers, the “this reminded me of you” book-loaners, the letter-writers, and the over-thinkers.

I waited three days. When the brown envelope nested in my mailbox, dripping in the handwriting of yesterdays—my heart melted into a pool of joy, deep enough to reflect back the woman I have become in the years born since the last time we met.

I waited three days to ask for a reply address. Not because I couldn’t stop thinking of that beautiful letter full of photographs, but because this whole “courageous kindness” thing was a novelty requiring more trust than I have. I wasn’t prepared for this; I wasn’t equipped. I wasn’t ready to be reminded of how loved I was that day.

When did we forget how to love? When did we forget how to be loved? When did we become afraid of caring “too much”?

Somewhere along the road, we allowed ourselves to become comfortably complacent with distance. That has never sat well with me.

We seem to confuse the words “caring” and “careful.”

Caring shouldn’t be a careful act. It requires a pinch of reckless abandon throughout the day—saying: “I know you are hurting, I know you are afraid, but I am not going to let you be alone in the dark.”

Here’s the thing: I want to care too much.

I would like to love so hard it blisters my soul—knowing full well the scars might make it hard to call me “pretty.” I want to wear my ferocious heart on my three-quarter sleeve, knowing “care” isn’t grown of geniality, but of courage.

I want to buy you a cup of coffee on your best and worst days, write you notes and leave them scattered around your house, show up on your porch in the pouring rain with my ukulele just to say hello, send you postcards brimming with adventures and run away with you for weekends with no maps. I want to love you in a litany of little things.

This courageous kindness requires us to be open. Being open, being vulnerable, is no small undertaking. Vulnerability is a real wash of a word that has become inebriated with loss of agency, loss of the upper hand, loss of power. Let us change that notion and share our hearts instead, knowing truly that vulnerability is not weakness, but strength.

Some days I am afraid. Some days you are too. I often hide my half-ironed security behind smiles and silence. My walls show their weakness in blushed cheeks and inopportune laughter.

Nonetheless, I am choosing to do my very best to be brave, to be open, to love wholeheartedly.

Let me be a wildflower. Let me wear my thorns alongside my pink petals and grow in the places you need to be beautiful. I want to scatter the seeds across meadows.

Let us feel nothing in a little way.

I want to love bravely.



How to Love: Have the Courage to Break your own Heart.



Author: Lily Catlin Garcia

Apprentice Editor: Roslyn Walker; Editor: Emily Bartran

Image: Pixabay


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Lily Catlin Garcia