Splendored??? Is that even a word? I love, love! Nothing makes you feel as good as when you hug someone really hard and they hug you even harder right back :)
Today on my marathon of traveling, everywhere I turned there were couples in love. The driver that picked me up this morning at 3:50am also picked up a young couple from the Maastricht business school. It was soooo early in the morning but the young man was chivalrous even at 4am and carried his girlfriends bag to the car for her and opened the door. Awwww.... When I got off the plane there was a guy at the gate holding a sign that said "Natalie, I love you!" and he was holding flowers. Awwww... At the train there was a couple of high schoolers that were making out on the platform. Kind of gross but there is something to be said for young love. On the ferry there was this beautiful couple. I say beautiful because they could have been models; tall, tanned and smiling. They were holding hands, hugging and gazing deeply into each others eyes with the backdrop of lake Lucerne and the Swiss mountain tops. It was right out of the pages of a romance novel. Yes, today was marked by young couples in love everywhere I turned. During my short time in Europe I have been blown away by the number of oldies in public make out sessions as well. This is not something that I have ever really seen in Canada. Yes, older couples holding hands but public make-outs, NEVER! People here are all about the public displays of affection. They stand closer in lines, they give three kisses to say hello and three kisses goodbye, they hold hands with everyone; children, girlfriends, the elderly, couples - EVERYONE - and yes they grope each other in public too.
So how do they do it? How do they keep the love alive? I've heard from a number of different sources that love and a passionate relationship is something you need to work at. Well, I don't believe it! I think that passion and love can simply be a by-product of a healthy existence and as they say "by having all your ducks in a row" by ducks I mean the important things in life and when I say row I mean in order or figured out. If you're taking care of you I think your relationships follow suit. I think if you walk and/or ride your bike everywhere you have more energy, you are in a better mood, you like your body more and you are more likely to want to share it. If you have shorter workdays and go on regular holidays you have more time together to enjoy each other. I think living in small European style households don't allow you to hide from one another. I think that a culture that encourages you to kiss people hello and good-bye has got love on the brain. I think a culture that embraces eating feel good food like cheese and chocolate, in moderation, is all about the finer things - the simple pleasures. In an environment like this, love is bound to thrive and in many cases to go public as I have witnessed. So what do you think? Do you need to work at love or do you need to work on how you live your life? Did Audrey Hepburn have it right when she said "The best thing to hold onto in life is each other" or should we be holding on to our remotes, big houses, over indulgences and belief that everything needs to be "hard work" including love.