Real love is like stepping outside in winter and seeing everything has been covered in pure white snow. There is a sense of awe, paralysing silence and beauty, even a timeless stillness. I think we have all felt like this at some point with a lover, or in nature.
When we step outside into this beautiful alien snowscape, when we love in this way, we are excruciatingly aware of the tracks that we make in this pristine canvas. We feel every delicate crunch underfoot and each step is made with full awareness. We look at our tracks curiously and we realise how precious the beauty is. Not that we are dainty, for snow invites pure play. You can jump in it, eat it, lie on it and make snow angels, or blow it off the top of a wall. But we do so with a sense of innocence, because we know that nothing we do will remain forever. We cannot own the snow, all our snow angels will be gone by the morning and the crunch of new snow will soon become slush. So everything we do in fresh snow is done with a care and purity which comes from aimless, child-like play.
This is the characteristic of true love, exquisitely aware and expecting nothing.
But as soon as it comes, fresh snow becomes slushy tracks, and true love becomes routine love. We try to solidify our lovers, we try to form their infinite freshness into a perfect looking snowman, we jealously shout at other children who come near our snowman, but then as they get drab and melty, we stop looking at them with the same wonder.
The sense of exquisite spontaneous presence is replaced by patterns and expectation, and we no longer notice the tracks or marks we make in the other person.
We get ideas of how the other person should behave, and when they do things which threaten these expectations, we react. When love becomes a series of patterns like this, it is no longer love, just a collection of neurotic, self-protecting habits.
All of our unconscious actions leave deep marks in everyone we interact with, especially intimately. There is no way to undo them, no strategy to apply, and doing so will only mess things up, just like you cannot cover your tracks in snow. It is only the willingness to be innocent, again and again, which brings us back to love.
All that is required is when we look at our lover, to remember the tone of playing in fresh snow... as our senses come alive, bursting with the awareness of their sparkling, crunching, beauty, then our actions will be as pure as snow, with nothing wanting, and no idea of the future... It may snow again in the night, or it may never snow again... both are beautiful...