You know the one I mean. Everyone uses it so casually, it's almost lost it's meaning. No, no no... I don't mean "lust" - though frequently enough people seem to mistake the two for each other. No, I'm talking about that word that evokes terror into the hearts of even the most macho of men, when uttered at the wrong time. A word which is difficult (at best) to truly define, and yet which symbolizes an emotion that almost all of us eventually feel and which we (as humans) need to some extent in order to be socialized.
That's right - I mean Love. Affection plus attraction plus tenderness plus emotional attachment plus caring plus that indefinable "something" that we can't always put our finger on, but which we know is There when it is - that extra "spark" that flows between us and the person of our emotion which cannot be measured or named but which we nonetheless know is present when it happens.
It's more than simply hearing someone say, "I love you." Which, I'll grant you, is very pleasant to hear said even though it's not always Necessary to be spoken. Sometimes, we can go without it ever being uttered, and yet we know beyond any possibility of doubt that it exists. We either intuit that it's present, or it's "spoken" through the actions of another person to tell us much more clearly than words that we are dear to them. Loved, cherished, appreciated, and holding an important place within the spectrum of their positive emotions.
Don't mistake me. I enjoy hearing it. It gives me that "warm fuzzy" glow which can't be seen or explained - only felt. Yet I don't "need" to be Told in order to KNOW that I'm loved. It's spoken loudly and frequently in those little things he does. It was all over that special batch of cookies - modified to exclude an ingredient I have a mild allergy to - made just for me to enjoy. It's in things like showing up unexpectedly to pick me up, after telling me he has "plans" but making no mention of what those plans are, or whether they even include me. It's in the subtle caress delivered while he's asleep and I'm mostly that way, not to any portion of the body that could be mistaken as an unconscious sexual overture - but to my hair while my head rests against him. It's in his gentle teasing, the strength of his arms holding me against him, and the tone of his voice during those moments when I most need (but refuse to ask for) comforting on some level.
He's an incredible man. I find it difficult to imagine life without him. And whether he's phyiscally close or miles away... I know - always know, soul deep, in every fiber of my being both physical and spiritual - he loves me.