Marie-Elsa Bragg

BBC Radio 4 Prayer for the Day, 13 February 2017

Good morning

‘My love is like a red red rose that’s newly sprung in June.’

It is the day before Valentine’s Day, when tradition encourages us to dive into the unknown and join a powerful creative force of nature. We are encouraged to be blind-sighted, the card anonymous, and take flight in the hope to somehow meet our beloved.

Poets like Coleridge and Neruda have described this fervoured Eros as the ‘reflex of our earthly frame,’ or an ‘eternal thirst.’ Scientists point to stimulation of dopamine which triggers attachment and addiction.

But the full chemistry, the consuming drive, the unconscious click that happens when someone becomes your world, is still a mystery. And full of potential.

Walt Whitmann wrote: ‘It comes to me as a dream, I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you.’

Christina Rossetti wrote: ‘I loved and guessed at you, you construed me and loved me for what might or might not be’

These poets are describing a leap that’s not into the unknown but the vivid unconsciously known. A reach to intuitively find the other person. And with that comes a vulnerability of hope, belief and dreams. Yeats wrote: ‘tread softly because you tread on my dreams.’

Of course we have to be careful we don’t get so caught up in our leap we can’t see the other person, or forget the red red roses!

True flight is fueled by our hopes and inspired by the gift. To receive is the same.

Lord, may we seize the courage to surrender, to respect each other’s dreams and love the giving and receiving of a gift. Amen