Love in the South

by Anonymous

How do you know when you love someone?

My great grandma knew a woman from the clay marshes outside of the district parish that said you could find out if what you had was love if you went east of the bramble bushes at midnight on summer solstice. There, leave a cluster of nettles in the crook of the old birch tree and tear off a catkin flower and wear it over your heart the following day. The next night, return and grind the nettles and flower together and apply the paste to the stone at the base of the tree and wait an hour. If the owl hoots thrice then twice, you are in love. If the owl falls off the tree dead, it’s global warming. If it was that easy then we would have already eradicated disease and been enjoying global peace for years. But we don’t need a simple test. What we really need is time and experiences. It would be great if someone could tell us but it would rob us of finding out more about ourselves. Perhaps my grandma Gertrude was right and you just know when you know. It’s true, and you won’t know a second sooner. But that experience is different for everyone and can’t be bundled off like kindling sticks for the fire. When you do figure it out let me know. Not because I haven’t found love, but because I want to know your story. And don’t leave anything out, I want to know if you found that owl.

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