In Sweet Company

“To me, God is love. I’m not speaking of a physical or personal love, but of the universal love that created all of us and everything in this universe, the unconditional love, the infinite power that transcends everything in this finite world. When you know that love through personal experience, it’s something that’s with you constantly… It’s not just a thought or mental process. It’s an experience, a joy that wells up in your heart. I could not live without that inner communion. It’s more precious to me than life or breath.”—Sri Daya Mata, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE

Yesterday my husband and I went to the Oakland Zoo. We sat on a bench by the lions and waited for them to wake up. After a while, I started to watch the people watching the lions: six-year-olds pressing toes against the fence line, parents taking photos with their phones, grandparents taking a breather from pushing strollers of sleeping babies, young lovers standing close together hand pressed in hand. Despite our external differences—size, age, race, and a variety of fashion statements—it was a beautiful tableau. Everything fit. Everyone had a place.

There is a old Yiddish proverb that says if you think of the person beside you as the Messiah, you will weigh your words and watch your hands. If they choose not to reveal themselves to you it will not matter.

What a valentine this would be for the world.

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