by Kristen

There’s a hollow inside me. Love pools within it.

It drains when noise overwhelms me. It drains with an overabundance of words—when they rain on me as though quantity equates with worth. It drains when I feel lost in the shuffle. It drains when life presses in without room to pause and process.

It fills when I have time and space alone and in meaningful, intentional interactions. It fills when I feel valued. It fills when people understand the importance of words, and they use care in choosing the ones they share with me.

On rare occasions it fills when a present lands in my lap that says, “I was paying attention. And I know this will mean something to you.”

Thirty years ago my mom gave me a gift. This year she gave me the same present again. But this was more than nostalgia. It was a reminder. She knew me then, and she knows me now. She knew why I loved it then. And she knows I am still . . . me.

There is something about being known. Nothing seals the cracks and refills the reservoir of love as well as known-ness.

Love is lavished in the knowing. It isn’t the gift or word or touch or presence or deed. They are the triggers tripping the wire unfurling the banner:

You are known.

You are loved.


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