Unconditional Love

It is said that one of the reasons that a person enjoys a canine companion is the aspect of unconditional love.  A dog’s nature seems to be one that throws all cares away and just drills down to excitement, contentment and sheer joy at the human’s return after having been abandoned for most of the day.  There is no grudge.  Rather, there is a body swaying back and forth with such vigor and a tail that spins around with sheer abandon.   For the human, any stress or tension that may have existed on the commute home melts away at the greeting and display of such pure affection.

Why can’t humans behave this way with one another?  Why does our experience with romantic partnerships as well as relationships in general not include such joy in greeting one another at the end of an extended absence?  Of course our response is likely that we are more complex beings.  But is that true?  And if it is, is this a benefit?

Certainly, we humans have a basic need for community in some fashion.  Being completely isolated and having merely a dog for companionship might not satisfy nor be prudent over the long term.  However, even now after all these years, I find myself yearning for a place of solitude.  Once there, I am not sure that I will be truly content.  There are no guarantees.  But as I reflect on my youth and position memories next to more recent feelings, I realize that my longing for a solitary place of my own has been at the forefront for most of my life.   I understand the draw to the hermitage.

There are memories of a time when the movie Jeremiah Johnson was at the top of my list of favorites, along with Harold and Maude.  I watched those movies alone – over and over again.  The appeal of the first one was living away from demands of society- living alone, and fending for myself.  Being in nature, limited expectations from others.  For a high school graduation present, my parents took me to a summer resort on a lake in Wisconsin.  I recall taking a row boat out on the lake with them and we coasted and rowed around the lake.  Mom was entranced by the majestic homes that dotted the shoreline.  I remember sitting in that row boat dreaming of living in one of the tiny boat houses, small quarters that would offer just enough room for a bed, maybe a table and a view.   And in those visions, I imagined myself living there with my dog.  My vision did not include sharing the space with another human.


Much later in life, I recall describing Iceland to an interested party.  The rugged landscape for some is considered the Wild West.   For me, it is a terrain filled with raw resources and  potential for hours of reflection.  I imagine myself living in a small cottage on the cliffs, a tiny garden and a dog.   Recently, watching a show on Netflix which hails from Wales called Hinterland- the lead detective’s mobile home accommodation on the coast, isolated from the masses with the wind whipping through and the waves crashing below, seems the perfect setting for writing, hiking and having a cup of tea.  And of course, a loyal canine nearby.

Throughout my life, I have had canine love and it has never disappointed.  Fairly regularly, I receive advice from well meaning people that I will find someone special.  A gentle soul that will provide a safe and enjoyable life in partnership.  Mom hopes that he can play the guitar so that I can sing and enjoy beautiful moments of music with my true love.  A teddy bear she says, someone warm and huggable.

Until then, I have accepted and become satisfied with the life of solitude that is paired with the unconditional love I receive from my canine friend, and for now, that time is with Sofie.   Maybe when I am old and grey, it will be in a cottage by the sea with my faithful friend nearby.  I imagine this space with books, tea, a writing desk, a window looking out at nature, a warm bed, a small village not too far away for basic provisions.   This for me would be my ideal final chapter.

6 Replies to “Unconditional Love”

  1. Nice. I sense a kindred spirit in you! As a child I was a day dreamer and enjoyed reading books for hours transported to different times and adventures. I loved reading Mark Twain and CS Lewis. Now I am retired with my love of 41 years. He has taken up refurbishing antique furniture and happily spends hours in the garage transforming someone else’s castaway to our delight and that allows me my space to take up art and reading or gardening. . Together we are preparing with our church, the Vineyard Church of Anaheim, to become marriage coaches and also find a place in their outreach ministry to the poor. It’s nice to have a vision for life that takes the long view and fills each day with purpose.


    1. Fabulous – interesting common ground. Lived in Irvine, CA for 8 years back in the 80s/early 90s… went to UCI. Attended a mega church out there for awhile. Struggled over the years with organized religion. Fell away for almost twenty years. Then, ten years ago, Jesus nudged me back into his presence and through prayers of parents, my heart was open. Of course, he had been there all along waiting for me. So grateful for my reunion in 2005 with my Lord and Savior and even more grateful for His amazing mercy and grace over my life. Hard to fathom his Love.

      My return to Christ involves the story about the Woman by the Well. Long story but will elaborate one day on WordPress.

      Reading your blog (and your co-bloggers) is a ministry to me – a reminder of my purpose with this writing gig. Someone once told me that great things would be accomplished with my gifts- she equated it with me rising from the ashes and being in full display of God’s glory like a peacock – all for Him… showing His beauty and His love through my gifts. This writing challenge excites that vision…. tells me to stop wasting time and move forward into my purpose.


      1. Now we come to the Father calling Daddy! I pray all the time for eyes and ears, mind and heart to hear what the Spirit wants me to think and do. This is the only path to fulfillment and peace. Blessings!


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