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Every Day’s a Love Fest

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

In July of 1968 the stars twinkled in the night sky over the Bavarian Alps. Our group of participants in The Experiment in International Living – a dozen US teenagers and a dozen German teenagers – had finished eating in the alpine Gasthof. A handsome German boy named Peter – an older “man” of 18 to my 16 – took me by the hand. The two of us wandered along a mountain path to a secluded spot where we could sit, whisper, and flirt.

My German language skills comprised three years of high school German. (Straight A’s, but still pretty limited). Peter, having studied English in school since childhood, was patient with my language gaps. Our mutual interest in understanding each other – as representatives of two cultures but, to be honest, more as two teenagers attracted to each other – found ways to communicate.

We spoke about the beauty of the mountains, flowers, fresh air, the magnificent sky. I managed to say (in German) that the moon we saw together that night was the same moon I saw at home in Illinois. From then on when we looked up to the moon – wherever we were –  we could think of each other and feel connected at some cosmic yet personal level. (At the time, I was sure no one had ever figured that out before.)

The world seemed alive with possibilities, with discoveries awaiting us, and frisky with an inviting energy. And in the glory of that moment, we kissed. It was a chaste, innocent, invigorating kiss.

The whole setting felt like heaven. It felt like joy and gratitude. It felt like magic and miracles. It felt like life and nature were generous and benevolent and bountiful.*

That was a warm July night decades ago, but for me that memory encapsulates the romance of Valentine’s Day. February 14th is not all a commercial Love Fest of sentimentalism and hype for chocolate makers, florists and card companies. It can be a symbol of a Love Fest. If you emphasize the German word “Fest”  – meaning solid, tough, sturdy, stable and strong” – that kind of heady connection IS something to celebrate. Love fest. It’s as though Christ really meant it when, in  John 10:10, He said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

So even if February 14th – if celebrated at all – is done with a gaggle of girlfriends who convene for a mani-pedi and a movie, celebrate.

So even if February 14th goes by unnoticed in the hassle of deadlines and duties, that’s worth a prayer of thanks, too.

So even if February 14th finds all your kids throwing up, and you’re coming down with the flu yourself, remind yourself that “abundance” even includes this.

And even when the alimony check arrives.

And even when nothing goes disastrously wrong nor exceptionally right.

In the most quotidian of days – regardless of where it falls on the calendar – there exists a hum in the universe that sometimes – if the stars align – we, too, can hear. It is the hum of Life that is unconfined by mortality. It’s when we can sense joy and gratitude, magic and miracles. Life and Nature vibrate with generosity and benevolence and bounty. Abundance. Love. Fest.

*(I should add that I have no idea if Peter was thinking such lofty thoughts as I was in that moment. I like to think he was.)

 

About Linda Hoffman Kimball

Linda Hoffman Kimball is an artist, writer, photographer, and poet who grew up as a faithful Christian near Chicago, & joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1971 while at Wellesley College near Boston. Early on she assumed that all Latter-day Saints were articulate, inquisitive, faithful, and socially engaged since her role models in the University wards in Cambridge, MA., were. Her husband says she is “fluent, but not native” in Mormon-ese. She is a founding member of Mormon Women for Ethical Government.

1 thought on “Every Day’s a Love Fest”

  1. Perfect reminder to greet each day, each moment, each experience with grateful joy. Thanks, Linda. (My alimony arrives tomorrow—it’s a fest!)

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