If I’ve learned anything in 2020 (debatable) it came from being reminded that love matters above all else. Without it, there is nothing. Whether that be self love, romantic love, familial love, love of your fellow man or what have you – love is where it’s at.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve seen heart shapes in the wild. I’d see them in coffee rings, clouds, in oil swirls on the wet ground, you name it. The humble little heart, a symbol of love the world over, was everywhere.
File under: Pareidolia?
: the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual patternMerriam-Webster
The scientific explanation for some people is pareidolia, or the human ability to see shapes or make pictures out of randomness. Think of the Rorschach inkblot test.— Pamela Ferdinand
And then for a spell much longer than was comfortable, I didn’t see any hearts at all. None. Nowhere. My secret superpower was gone.
You see, I never considered that seeing hearts where they didn’t really exist was something neurotic or strange. It’s always been a good thing, almost like a check to say that I still knew what mattered.
My mind has always gravitated to metaphorical things. I’ve always been a seer of signs. And so it felt symbolic to no longer be able to find these heart shapes hiding in plain sight. It was as if my ability to find “love” went away.
During that period, the thought occurred to me that I would never again be able to find the hearts. And I asked myself more than once, what that meant for me. Surely, it meant something, right? Had I really changed that much? Was I broken?
One afternoon a few months ago – after getting the mail out of the box and walking up my driveway, I saw a leaf on the ground in the shape of a heart. “There you are,” I said out loud to no one. Except perhaps myself because it was me that needed to hear it.
A sense of relief washed over me. It was a sign. I’m still here. I just needed to be patient.
Love is so simple, so pure. Yet, loving people can be hard. And when we are hard to love, perhaps that is when we need each other’s love the most.
You can view all of Virginia’s LOVE Works on their map.