Is there only one true love—a soul mate—for each person or is it possible to fall in love again and again?
I’ve loved my husband with an intense ardor and loyalty for two decades. He is my breath, my heart, and a good bit of my soul. I have, however, also known what it is to fall in love, again and again.
I was ten the first time I fell in love. Dark haired, green eyed and fourteen, he had the soul of a poet. He was also intelligent, sensitive, and bound for more than his hemmed-in existence on the wrong side of the tracks. With his remarkable story and unrelenting loyalty, he remained in my heart long after my last utterance of his unique name, “Ponyboy.”
Again, I fell in love at thirteen. This boy was blonde and fair but also sensitive and smart. Protective, I imagined what it would be like to be held captive with him as we, together, figured out a way to escape his grandmother’s attic.
And at seventeen, I loved another. Dark, brooding, and, at times, even sinister, this man appealed to the rebellious nature my teenage years afforded me. Enigmatic, I immersed myself in his life as I tried to figure out not only why he was tortured but also how he could be made better. I mourned the day I left him on the Moors.
There were, of course, loves in between these ones and many loves since. My love was not limited to adventurous handsome boys. For many years of my childhood, I adored a spirited, pig-tailed girl from Wisconsin as I closely followed her adventures on the prairie. I also loved a brave and imaginative girl named Anne who made me want to move to Avonlea where my kindred spirit, Diana, lived.
My many loves have also not been restricted to people. I have been in love with morality and strength of character of Atticus Finch. I have loved the haunted halls of The Overlook Hotel even as I, scared, looked through my fingers. And I have loved the ballrooms and manicured gardens of the 18th century English countryside.
So, do I have one great love? Yes. I married him. But have I had only one love? No, I have had too many to count. Because of books, I have loved and will continue to love, again and again.
Books—the characters, the places, and the adventures— often allow us to feel beyond what is possible in our own existence. Through books, we don’t need to limit our love. We can, and should, love as fervently and as frequently as each new book allows.
As a reader, I know that I will always be in love and that another love stands waiting for me to crack the cover.
As a writer, I have had the privilege to create characters, a world, an adventure, which I can only hope causes others to fall in love, again.
Thank you for reading. I look forward to your comments.