Love Around the Edges

notes from Janey . . .

I didn’t grow up in an overly demonstrative family. I don’t remember my parents ever saying to me, “I love you.” But the thing is, I never doubted their love for me. They didn’t have to say it. Instead, they showed me on a daily basis how much I meant to them.

I was shown in numerous ways – in the way they spoke to me, in the way I heard them talk about me, in the way they took care of me, and in the way they touched me.

The phrase “I love you” gets said with such casualness at times, that it is rendered meaningless and impotent. Such as, an automatic response in saying goodbye on the phone. The salutation at the end of an email or letter. The quickly said and-I-love-you-too, as if in a race to get to the obligatory response so that we can get on with our lives.

Words are sometimes inadequate when it comes to expressing love. More people than not find it difficult, and in some cases, impossible to say how they truly feel. So what else will work? It doesn’t take much. Give me a loving touch on the shoulder, a simple kindness or a heartfelt smile any day over the impersonal gesture of an expensive gift or flowers.

Don’t get me wrong. I love flowers. And not in a sensible, oh-aren’t-they-pretty kind of way, but in a rather fanatical kind of way. They jazz me to my very core just to look at them.


Tupelo knows this, but in over three decades of being together, I can count on one hand the number of times he has given me flowers.

His style is more subtle. Instead of an occasional tsunami wave of garishness, I get small reassurances of his love on a daily basis, as if coming from a constant babbling brook. And after all these years, that is much more to my liking.

To make this life sweeter, all we need is just a little love around the edges to soften, protect, and make us feel good. It can come from friends, co-workers, children, family, life companions, Aunt Minnie or the mailman. It can be a tiny kiss, a tender hug, a good deed, or a “random act of kindness” from a stranger. I see them on the edge of my life as little bursts of light, firing like an endless string of firecrackers on a Chinese New Year. The spark they ignite in me makes me feel good.


If we love the world and the people in it, the world will love us back. If we embrace our place in the world, get ready to be embraced back. The trick is to tune into and notice the myriad ways we are shown. Feel good about it and then reciprocate in kind.

If we enjoy having love expressed around the edges of our life on a daily basis, chances are, the person next to us does too. Get crackin’ and see what happens.


(Article and photos by Janey Wing Kenyon)

This is the end of the article entitled Love Around the Edges published by Tupelo Kenyon on April 23, 2010 at 5:00 am | In Awareness, Communication, Passion, Relationships - Copyright 2007 - All rights reserved worldwide.

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