Breath

“I only have one of you…”

This weekend, I was sitting on the patio with Azar, enjoying the beautiful and sunny weather around lake Merritt. It was a hot day. Correction: It was a very hot day, at least for Oakland. As Azar went inside to grab a drink of water, I moved a fan outside to cool the air where she sat. As she stepped outside, she exclaimed her surprise at the fan and sat down to enjoy its breeze.

“This is heaven” 

Love has the power to heal and transform lives. When you give love to others, you often receive it in return, without expecting its arrival. This truth presented itself while seeing her in the sun with the Dyson breeze blowing through her hair.

When you love somebody – and I mean really love somebody – you become familiar with the struggle of not knowing how to fully express or show the love you carry. It’s as if you wanted to lasso the moon and adorn a loved one with a necklace of stars…while realizing a bouquet is more that enough.

During that afternoon, I heard a voice in my head say “I only have one of you.” with reference to Azar. It was the intersection of understanding just how special and unique our loved ones are, and how completely irreplaceable they are.

Love transforms both the giver and the recipient. It also reminds us that the everyday strangers we encounter in our lives are priceless gems to their loved ones, even if they are homeless…laying on the street.

In 20,0000 Leagues Under The Sea, Conseil told Prof. Aronnax a line that has struck out to me for years.

“I would give you the air in my lungs if it meant you could have one more breath”

The quote was badly paraphrased. The message remains. We have considerably more power to give love to others than we often like to accept. I have noticed on far more occasions that I receive the same measure of love – if not more – that I chose to give to another, than if I had selfishly kept it for myself.

How different would the world be if we could give the type of love that would vacate its lungs to give another a breath, to everybody we encountered? That’s the kind of world I would like to live in…that’s also the kind of world I can live in by choosing to do so.

I would give you the air in my lungs.

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