Once upon a time there was an island where all the feelings lived; happiness, sadness, knowledge, and all the others, including love. One day it was announced to all of the feelings that the island was going to sink to the bottom of the ocean. So all the feelings prepared their boats to leave. Love was the only one that stayed. She wanted to preserve the island paradise until the last possible moment.
When the island was almost totally under, Love decided it was time to leave. She began looking for someone to ask for help. Just then Richness was passing by in a grand boat. Love asked, “Richness, Can I come with you on your boat?” Richness answered, ” I’m sorry, but there is a lot of silver and gold on my boat and there would be no room for you anywhere.”
Then Love decided to ask Vanity for help who was passing in a beautiful vessel. Love cried out, “Vanity, help me please.” “I can’t help you,” Vanity said, “You are all wet and will damage my beautiful boat.”
Next, Love saw Sadness passing by. Love said, “Sadness, please let me go with you.” Sadness answered, “Love, I’m sorry, but, I just need to be alone now.”
Then, Love saw Happiness. Love cried out, ” Happiness, please take me with you.” But Happiness was so overjoyed, that he didn’t hear Love calling to him.
Love began to cry. Then, she heard a voice say, “Come Love, I will take you with me.” It was an elder.
Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that she forgot to ask the elder his name. When they arrived on land the elder went on his way. Love realized how much she owed the elder.
Love then found Knowledge and asked, “Who was it that helped me?”
“It was Time,” Knowledge answered. “But why did Time help me when no one else would?” Love asked.
Knowledge smiled and with deep wisdom and sincerity, answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is.”
I came upon this story quite by accident in mid-spring 2011. My relationship was in turmoil and I, as most everyone of my generation now does, turned to Google for help. As I eagerly typed How to save my relationship into the search box, I prayed that a magic answer would greet me.
While what I got may not have been an answer, per se, it was indeed a message. Something that stuck with me over the course of the next year while the relationship ended and I struggled to heal myself. The message is clear: only time is capable of understanding how great love is.
They say that time heals all wounds. That couldn’t be more untrue. Yes, time will heal a broken bone, or a papercut, but how exactly does time heal a broken heart? It can’t. If it did, we wouldn’t have poets like Elizabeth Barreett Browning How do I love thee, let me count the ways. Shakespeare would not have written sonnet after sonnet to his lost love. Romeo and Juliet would never have been star crossed lovers, they would have lived happily ever after. Even Beethoven wrote letters to his Immortal Beloved Oh continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved. Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.
It is not the time that heals our wounded pride or our broken hearts, it’s what we do with that time. Browning wrote poetry; Shakespeare wrote plays, sonnets, and changed theater; Beethoven composed some of the most beautiful pieces of music. So, while time may not be able to heal, it is able to understand, to provide the answers needed in order to move on to bigger and better things, to give us perspective. Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is.
Peace and Love,