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“Even after all this time The Sun never says to the Earth, “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.” ~ Hafiz

Back in high school, a few of my friends and I went to Great Adventure. Oh what a fun day it was! Great Adventure had a singing booth where we could record songs together, kind of like karaoke except you got a cassette tape at the end. Yes, we had actual tapes back then. The booth looked like a blast, and so we jumped right in line.

We sang a few songs, but the one I remember the most was “The Rose” by Bette Midler. I think it stands out in my memory because when we got the lyrics for it, we jokingly started to get serious. We were high school girls, just having fun, so “The Rose” was a little deep:

Some say love, it is a river, that drowns the tender reed
Some say love, it is a razor, that leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless aching need
I say love, it is a flower, and you, its only seed

Its the heart afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance
Its the dream afraid of waking, that never takes a chance
Its the one that won’t be taking, that cannot seem to give
It’s the soul afraid of dying, that never learns to live

When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose.

I think back of us singing that song, and wonder if I knew then how much fear could freeze up all the beautiful gifts we are given? How hurts and aches and pains could just stiffen up life the same way they stiffen up the joints? I always wrote and explored stuff, but I’m not sure I knew just how meaningful these lyrics were, and just what a role love can play in rebuilding broken things.

We have this one amazing, glorious, heartbreaking, magnificent, wild, scary, incredible life – if we see it as such, as a life that should be so full of every emotion, every experience, every gift, every tragedy, every failure, every success…but what if we are too filled with fear? We miss out. We hold back. We can choose to take the chance, or stay safe. We can choose to love with all of our being, or stay on the sidelines.

When my heart hears this song again, there’s a gentle nudge. I feel the lyrics, as if for the first time, softly they whisper for my attention. And I see the words, they stand out louder, they teach me. And a flash of all the times I froze in fear, I didn’t love fully the way I should have. The tears fall, and I learn from the pain of the lyrics, and I want every human being in the world to feel the lyrics as I did – teaching us to live as if there is no safe ground, no sideline, no back seat; to love as if there is no other choice, love as if we have the ability and power like the sun to heal all in the world that is broken, and love it back to life.