Today the one year anniversary of my sweet grandfather's passing. He used to quote “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...” to me over and over during our time together, in his voice that always sounded like a song and felt like a hug. He was a king among men, and his greatest attribute was his obsession with and understanding of Love.
He was a child of God, a student of the world, and a master of beauty and the heart. If I have learned anything this past year, it is that life is short (even when it's not) and the most precious thing we have is Love: that undying, irrefutable pulse of the universe.
My grandfather always used to tell me:
"Love is giving of self and receiving of self."
It has taken me a long time to understand what he meant, and while I am sure the mystery of his wisdom will continue to bloom, I believe he meant that in the singular act of Loving you are both giving and receiving simultaneously. To offer and receive Love is a gift that returns on itself manifold.
The Love we give and the Love we receive and the Love in our midst will always be there, even when the physical manifestation of Love isn't present.