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  • Writer's pictureJayne Lisbeth

Post Valentines Day Love Lessons

                                         





We have a returning guest, a sweet little warbler. She usually comes with her mate but this year she returned alone. She knew all the familiar places, the bird bath, where we throw the bread crumbs, peanuts  and the suet and mobile are.  Her favorite spot is on the mobile, facing our glass French doors, and conveniently next to the suet. 

To our dismay, she keeps flying into our French doors. At first we thought she was flying haphazardly into the glass doors. We soon discovered it wasn’t her flight skills, it was who she was looking for in the glass. She fluttered  her wings like a hummingbird, hovering at her own reflection, in a blur of wings. She chirps and bobs at her image and is unafraid and unmoving when a larger bird lands on the suet feeder next to her. I worry every time I hear the little thump of her tiny body as it smacks into the glass. She can’t believe she is alone and no doubt wonders, “Why won’t my mate notice me and fly off with me?” She tries endlessly to get the other bird’s attention, to no avail.


I recently saw a touching video of a goose who had lived with her mate on a lake in a cemetery. Eventually, her mate died and she was left alone. She constantly looked for her beloved, her mournful cry echoing emptily across the lake. The caretakers of the cemetery noticed the plight of the lone goose. They decided to act. They found a goose perfectly fitting the size of the female, best of all he was definitely a he.  When the two caretakers released the new male goose to their female goose they worried that she would reject him.  Instead, she ran at her new mate, literally, with open wings. Now, they reside together. They swim on the lake together, they groom one another, and occasionally touch their beaks together as they coo their secret love song to each other. 

When my beloved and I began dating, as anyone who has read Writing in Wet Cement, knows, I was horrible. I was insecure and jealous over imagined lovers. I was argumentative and untrusting. My trust thermometer had stopped working, damaged by previous relationships. I nearly destroyed this love story with Tim until I finally learned to trust myself and the world again. 

On TV, I watch a lot of crime shows.  Many episodes focus on unrequited love, jealousy, control issues. The solutions are the names of the show: “Wives with Knives”, “Broken Promises”, “Happily Never After", "SNAPPED!”  And many more. 

The longing to connect with another, to procreate,  is the driving force, with birds, insects, and the entire living world. A recent PBS documentary about Chameleons verified the lengths to which mates discover one another. When a female chameleon is ready to mate, she travels miles. In this documentary, this gal traveled three miles up, over and under trees, across the forest floor, avoiding and escaping predators in her quest to find a mate. Her quest for a mate took her five months to complete.  When she finally found her mate, her colors changed. They became vibrant, red, green, yellow, with a bright red spot, indicating she is READY. It can take a female up to five months to find a mate. After she does, she buries her eggs in a warm, protected place. Then, she dies. When she begins to die, she finds a comfortable place, settles down, and her colors change once again. They become dark, olive green, grey and  black. Then, she is gone. 

We all die a little when love is betrayed and lost. Thankfully, as in the crime stories I watch, most women and men don’t choose antifreeze or arsenic when love is rejected. If we are wise, we re-evaluate the drama, the love. What part did we play in this romance?

If we’re lucky, we  recognize our role in the ending of a relationship. Through many adventures and love lessons repeated over the years we learn to accept and love that person in the mirror;  with all her flaws and values, history and experiences.  The one we never saw before. Ourselves, a fully functioning human being.

Let’s face it. Men and women all long for love, with whomever they are attracted to. Searching for that perfect mate can be constant or not-at-all. Sometimes we are like moths flying into the flame of desire. If we’re lucky, someone stumbles into our path and you discover a life-long partner in your midst where none was seen before. Your colors change. You have found your mate. You are exploding in joy.

We will always be banging ourselves against the cold and blank window panes of our desires until we realize our reflection in the mirror is only part of the image.  There's a whole person there, and another person is now in the picture with you. That’s a lovely portrait!

I think there's a love lesson here. I’m not sure exactly what it is, so I hope my readers will discover their own wisdom from my random thoughts. These are little nuggets the world gave to me which I wanted to share. 

 I was compelled to write by this sweet, little warbler who flew into her reflection on our French doors. She seems to have given up, finally. We haven’t seen her for hours, except at the birdbath or branches over our heads. Occasionally she comes by for a suet snack and flies off immediately to her new home, wherever that might be.

I wish I could have learned this lesson many years ago. Instead of battering myself on the window panes of life I should have looked in the mirror sooner to see myself as an adult mature enough to share a love. 

Better late than never in learning these lessons in love and life. If you haven’t found him or her yet, take heart. You never know when that special someone will unexpectedly stumble into your life.


Art by Tim Gibbons

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4 Comments


Dr Greg LeSar
Dr Greg LeSar
Feb 18

A wonderful way to reflect on such a driving force in our lives. Love is the only reason all of this is worth doing. Beautiful work Jayne.

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Jayne Lisbeth
Jayne Lisbeth
Feb 20
Replying to

Yup, love is what it's all about...as you well know, Dr. Greg!


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John York
John York
Feb 18

Nicely written, Jayne, and excellent reflections for all of us to reflect upon.

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Jayne Lisbeth
Jayne Lisbeth
Feb 20
Replying to

Yes, a lot to wonder about. An update on our little warbler, she has stopped beating her little self on the glass doors, but now recognizes my voice and cocks her little head, then returns to her perch at the suet and we have lovely interactions. She definitely is our latest resident who I hope will return every year to teach me new lessons on love! A developing love story...!

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