Finding North

February 21, 2011 at 6:54 am Leave a comment

The recent celebration of Valentine’s Day put me in mind of some of the sweeties of my past.

In high school, I had a friend who became my boyfriend for a few months in our junior year.  He broke it off after a brief but wonderfully sweet time dating.

His reason he thought we should no longer date was that he felt “like a compass going by another compass” when we were around each other.   At the time, as a sixteen-year old girl, my reaction was–and this is a problem?  I thought it was true love.

He however, even at sixteen or so, had the wisdom to know that you always have to know where north is.  Whatever is happening around us, whatever life brings our way, we have to know where north is, stay with our own center, not be blown off course by the winds of life.

Now, I understand that when you throw a mortgage payment and a child or two and having a career and continuing to learn and grow in life into the mix, two compasses next to each other doesn’t make for a good match.  A spinning compass has a hard time getting the credit card bill paid and putting dinner on the table, much less living life with grace.  Though I love my husband deeply, our lives are complicated enough without that spinning compass feeling that I thought was so great as a teenager.

That I remember Andrew’s words indicates not the depths of my broken heart, as I liked to think at the time, but that some part of me recognized the wisdom they contained.  It took me years–and a few more heartbreaks–to understand them, however.

So, I remembered them again on Valentine’s Day, as I cleaned our bathroom floor, grateful for the all the kinds of love in my life that I give and receive that help to keep me on course, steady, aware–in most moments, if not every one–of where North is.

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