We all use words loosely, casually, repeatedly.  We say certain words over and over, so often they become anemic, insipid, commonplace expressions, losing their vigor, their impact.  Their oomph!

One of the most lightly tossed around words in everyday discourse is becoming a conventional expression, yet it represents the most profoundly beautiful, poignant, most touching, heart-warming, passionate feeling in the world . . . LOVE!

And where is it?  Most of the time from overuse and under feeling, LOVE evaporates like the John Paul Young song in the late 70s, Love is in the Air.

Don’t you just love it?  Didn’t you love that movie last night?  Yes, I loved it.  Do you think I look lovely in this?  I love it on you. Oh, I love you so much!  I love you too.  I really do!  Want a chocolate?  Would love one.

What made me think of this was walking on the beach the other day with my truly lovely wife Rita.

The tide was up, so we were walking in the soft sand, which is often harder to walk on because you sink a little into it, unlike when you’re walking on the more firm, moist sand along the shoreline after the tide goes out.

Suddenly it made me think of something Rita said.

We were talking about a tractor.  How every morning it cleans our beach of all the debris, seaweed and junk that washes in from the ocean, but on some days the beach is clean as can be, yet the tractor still goes up and down the shoreline.

One day I said to Rita the tractor driver must have to show he drove, so he’s just adding mileage on his tractor’s odometer, so he’ll get paid.

No, she said, he’s compacting the sand, so we keep more of our beach when it rains, when surf is up, waves are rough and tide goes out taking sand with it.

That made little sense to me until today when I was walking on the soft sand with Rita and it felt firmer. 

At that moment I actually could feel the meaning of what she had said about the tractor compacting the sand so more or it will stay on our beach. I even saw some tractor marks in the soft, but sturdier, more supportive sand.

I truly love Rita.  And yes, I truly mean it when I say the word LOVE.

Every day that love is compacted in my heart, the same as that tractor does to the sand on our beach.