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1 On Fire for God Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee. —Augustine of Hippo, Confessions I have fallen in love many times. The first time, I was in the second grade. The boy’s name was Jason, and he had brown hair and brown eyes, asymmetrical dimples that flashed even when he wasn’t smiling. A sprinkle of freckles splashed across his nose. We would say hi to each other first thing every morning and good-bye every afternoon as we stepped onto different school buses. Every time he spoke to me, I felt a little jolt, and dizzy, I would trip on the sidewalk. One day he asked if he could be my boyfriend. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but I accepted, though nothing really changed in our daily routine. We didn’t hold hands or share a kiss. We continued with our daily ritual of greeting each other in the morning and at the end of the day. 7 Then it was over. In fact, I can’t even recall how our relationship officially ended. I have a feeling we both forgot and moved on. Then I was in the fourth grade, and her name was Alicia. We had just moved to Denver, and I was a brand-new student at school. She lived in the same townhouse complex as my family, and after school and on the weekends, she would come over, or I would play at her house. She had short brown hair, feathered as was the style, and I admired the way it seemed so soft and shiny. She was cool in the way I understood it as an awkward nine-year-old with huge glasses and unruly hair barely tamed by ponytails. She always wore Reebok Pump high-tops with red shoelaces. I convinced my parents to buy me the exact same pair, except with blue shoelaces. Alicia was a natural artist, and we would spend hours drawing and painting, and she would encourage me in my own mediocre attempts. As with Jason, we never held hands or shared a kiss. We stopped seeing each other when my family moved back to Colorado Springs the following summer. Five years ago, I wouldn’t have described Alicia as someone I had fallen in love with—maybe a best friend or a kind of sister. But I still remember the butterflies. They were the same butterflies I felt when Jason said good-bye to me every day. They were the same butterflies I felt when my husband, Andy, and I went on our first date and then later when we said our vows on our wedding day. Whenever Alicia stopped by in the mornings so we could walk to school together or Outside the Lines 8 when she spent the night, those butterflies always took a little flight in my belly. I remember that fluttery excitement was one I could barely contain. There was a chemistry, an energy and joy. Those butterflies are powerful. They were—and are—so significant and universal that much has been written about them throughout history. Lengthy books and epic poems center on them. Songs and stories are full of the agony of unrequited love that sent whole countries to war on other shores. Families were torn apart in feuds lasting for generations because of their children’s passion for each other. All because of these butterflies. For you, it may be butterflies, or it might be the feeling of riding on a roller coaster or waking up to Christmas morning every day or looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. There are a lot of ways to describe those butterflies. Sometimes even my stoic father would reminisce in a surprisingly goofy way about dating my mother: “Whenever I saw her, my heart would start pounding hard in my chest—ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom.” These stories always made me laugh, but my mother would roll her eyes, embarrassed. Still, I would catch her smile, too; she just couldn’t hide her pleasure at those memories. I could recount numerous stories, as I imagine you might, too, about that feeling, that desire. While it can refer to wanting , needing, being desperate for some thing—some object, maybe a toy or shiny new iPhone or dark chocolate or that slice of pizza—it especially applies to desire for some one. However...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781506408972
Print ISBN
9781506408965
MARC Record
OCLC
1037807246
Pages
176
Launched on MUSE
2018-06-07
Language
English
Open Access
N
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