It’s the first week in February and I have a ‘hearty’ look to my house, celebrating Valentine’s Day. I am reminded of Van Gogh’s line: “The way to know life is to love many things.”
I’m glad this famous man, known for his exquisite paintings, made such a comment, because if loving a lot of things means I know about life, then I definitely know life. Those of us who love ‘widely’ are seen by some as not discerning enough-as dilettantes, shallow and superficial. Critics complain we can’t possibly love as many things and people as we do, or at the very least, we are misusing the word “love.” Even if we replaced “to love many things” for “be passionate about many things,” I’m sure we’d still get criticized for being over-passionate.
Every one of the things I love, I love with gusto. For example, the ten fruit trees I love in my yard are also trees I prune, fertilize, water (just so), spray with dormant oil, and treat for pests. Of course, I enjoy eating the fruit off my trees (and squeezing my home-grown limes in my Gin and Tonic), but my enchantment with fruit trees comes with knowing all about them.
I love white wine, and my search for favorites as my palate changes, means I have lots of bottles in my refrigerator. Ah, the joys of sampling! Chocolate is a favorite, so I’ve tried a hundred brands to find the milk and dark versions I like, without destroying my budget. Ever tried Guittard milk chocolate? You can buy those chocolate chips in the cooking aisle at your local grocery store, so the price won’t kill you. Yum!
My husband, the moon, my family, an orange, golf, sunny days, travel, my MacBook air, our house, Oregon Juncos, our wood carvings, all aspects of our renovation, shoes, jewelry, my new car, my collection of bottle stoppers.
You get the point. My love of many things comes with knowing them well and cherishing them, lifelong. So Van Gogh is right, I know life better by loving many, many, things.
Sidenote: I love LIE CATCHERS, my latest novel, set in Petersburg. Here are the Amazon and Wild Rose Press buy sites: