Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

Because Love

Tell me why the stars do shine

Tell me why the ivy twines

Tell me why the sky is blue

And I will tell you just why I love you

I sing this song to our kids frequently (it is the first song in Platypup’s “set” — each of our kids has a group of songs I’ve been singing them to sleep with since they were born). I love the melody and the imagery. I hear the usual version has something to do with god in the second verse, but my version is what my mom sang to my sister and I:

Because of our love the stars do shine

Because of our love the ivy twines

Because of our love the sky is blue

And now I’ve told you just why I love you

No song is safe around me, and I thought about writing my own version, with the scientifically accurate answers: “because of fusion the stars do shine; because of friction the ivy twines; because of Rayleigh scattering…” well, there’s where it loses that special something.

Lying in bed one morning last month, it occurred to me how well this song describes, well, love itself. Lasting love, anyway.

First you need that giddy, falling in love spark; aka fusion, the reason stars shine. Fusion, the smashing of two into a new wondrous one, with all the heat and exponential explosion of excess energy that comes with it. The stuff that literally powers life as we know it.

Then you need to make like ivy. See, ivy twines the way it does because it turns toward the direction of any friction it feels. Pull your mind out of the gutter, friend; that’s not where I’m headed with this one (though THAT kind of friction is also important). When obstacles get in the way of ivy, does it give up? Does it relinquish its hold on its entwining partner vine? It does not. Ivy always makes it through, with sheer persnick. Or at least it tries as hard as only an invasive vine can.

Equally important is your outlook. Why is the sky blue? Because gas molecules absorb and then release more blue hues than other colors, which are allowed to pass through the atmosphere mostly undetained. Nothing poisons a promising relationship faster than picking on the daily annoyances with which all of us plague our loved ones. Don’t turn the sky red over mislaid socks and refrigerator transgressions. Absorb the many minute moments of magnificence and then allow them to paint your beloved as the ever-changing, mysterious bright skyscape of a soul that they are.

Two years ago Thor and I hit the mud and nearly lost one another, due to mundane things like parenting and work schedules and non-mundane things like identity and spirituality. We would have, had that initial fusion not been refueled. Had we not clung like ivy. Had we not chosen to see blue.

Happy birthday, Thor! Thanks for making like stars, ivy, and the sky. I love you more than I can say, sing, write, or photograph, but these lines and pictures are trying their best anyway.


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