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THANK YOU for the love you’ve given me
but thank also that you have given it to me with freedom
for i have come to find in this life
that in their giving, one cannot exist without the other
and that they are, in their depths, two words
with but one meaning

a chorus of voices may disagree
the ‘dottingmother’ objects,
“I gave my children allmylove.
So whatof freedom?
I savedem from its dangers.”

and the ‘distantfather’ judges,
“I gave my children the freedom to maketheirway.
So whatof love?
I spared’em its weaknesses.”

but love given without freedom is for the lover
for the lover who gives not freedom
will hold back the beloved
from unfolding the petals of their soul
and if the lover know this not
they cannot know the beloved
and hence cannot love them
and if the lover knows this
then we may not hesitate to say that it is greed
that drives them and not love

and freedom given without love is apathy
for if the freer wishes something in return
for their gift of freedom
then it is not freedom they are giving
and still if the freer asks nothing
the freed is most desperately trapped
for without the strength of love
freedom becomes the greatest of cages

now, as i tend the garden of my soul
far from the deep, rich, flagless soil of my pasts
i see that much has changed under the ravages of storms, its gardener, and of time …

but the perennials of love and freedom
are yet strong and verdant, intertwined
and i am grateful
for everything i touch:
for every tired tree
every new land, every blazing sky, every familiar stranger
honeyed friend, clandestine lover, wondrous thought
and vibrating atom
is tainted
by the aspect of this love that i received
and is forever imbued
with a part of you and me

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