On Love

posted 09 April 2009, updated 10 April 2009

I dunno why this popped into my head a minute ago, but it did. There have been a few times in my life when I've seen something and been absolutely sure that what I was seeing was love.

The first one that I can remember is easily fifteen years ago now. It was around Christmas, and my family and I were on vacation in Tobago. As was our habit in Tobago, we had gone for a walk at sunset on Turtle Beach and then, as was equally habitual, repaired to the beach bar there for rum punches (or a coke in my case, being twelve). The hotel was laying on entertainment for guests, and there was a sound system and DJs just setting up. The song "Lady in Red" by Chris de Burgh came on. It's an awful, saccharine song, but at some point in the lifetime of my parents they had developed a semi-ironic attachment to it as "their" song. As soon as he recognized the song, my father got to his feet and asked my mother to dance. And for a few moments, they did, despite the fact that there was no other dancing going on, or even a dance floor. It was their song, and they wanted to dance to it. Whenever I think about the relationship my parents have, that cheesy little moment is what I remember. It's how I know my parents love each other, one of the rocks to which my life is anchored.

The second time that comes to mind I remember because I was so surprised by it. It was another family vacation, again in Tobago. My brother and I had gone to the pool to meet the rest of the family, and as we arrived his girlfriend at the time, now wife, was just getting out of the pool, climbing the ladder as he approached. She was looking her best; tanned, relaxed and happy. She got to the top of the ladder just as we reached the edge of the pool, and my brother gave a little start, and stepped back half a pace, saying "whoa!" before stepping forward again to kiss her hello, literally taken aback by how beautiful she was. This reaction was so uncharacteristic of my brother that it took me a few seconds to work out what he had been reacting to. My brother, always so cool, was so deeply in love that he couldn't contain his reaction. It was a side of him I'd never seen.

I'm sure there have been lots of other times when I've seen a couple in love and not noticed; but when for some reason I think about love, these two little moments are the ones that come to my mind as the definition of the word.

Update: corrected artist for Lady in Red, it's not Julio Iglesias.

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