Hearts Woven Together by Love
How do we know when we've met our Soul Mate?
Introduction: The Universality of Experience ~
Many have experienced a deep level of connection with another. It is both romantic and practical at the same time. Lovers feel as if they, and their lives, fit together perfectly. They are missing puzzle pieces for each other...the missing puzzle piece they have been looking for all their lives.
There was no "love at first sight" with my husband and I. Our love grew over time. This hub lists the signs, for me, that my husband is the one I am meant to be with, until the death of one of us puts an end to our life together here on Earth.
The reading I have done has taught me the qualities that make a partner a "Soul Mate." Opening our hearts and sharing who we are, we have found something that is a great gift, which we cherish daily. It is a gift that grew from two kindred souls recognizing one another, that our lives were incomplete without the other one. The forces outlined below are the ones that pulled us together, and have kept us together for almost 15 years.
How do I know that my husband is my "Soul Mate?" Let me count the ways...
1. Shared Interests
Our shared interests are what brought us together in the first place, and keep us going strong. We met while working at a museum in Boston related to history. When we realized that there was romance blossoming between us, we decided that our staying together at the same workplace could become complicated, so I left to work at another museum, related to my passion for maritime history. He had worked at the same museum before he landed at the job that brought us together, so we still had much to share and talk about. He loved visiting me there at the end of my shifts.
History is not the only interest that brought us together. Both of us are passionately in love with books, too, especially poetry. Film, theater, art, and music are other ways we connected to each other in those early months of our relationship.
There was so much to share and enjoy together in Boston. It's such a magical city. The Esplanade is one of the most romantic places to walk around and explore. The place feeds lovers' souls in such a unique way. A couple of the places that we loved to visit frequently were the Boston Public Garden and the Esplanade. The Arnold Arboretum was another.
Places we have loved to visit
Links to Romance in Boston
- Hatch Shell at the Boston Esplanade, Location of Free Movies and Concerts
Hatch Shell at the Boston Esplanade, location of free movies and concerts each summer.
- Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
This Shakespearean acting troupe performs on Boston Common every summer for large crowds of fans enjoying picnic dinners with their families and friends.
- Boston Gondola Tours - Gondola di Venizia
Romantic gondola tours on the Charles River (Boston, MA), complete with a serenade by an accordion player.
- Arnold Arboretum
The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is the oldest public arboretum in N. America and one of the world's leading centers for the study of plants. Features "Lilac Sunday" on Mother's Day each year - open to picnickers.
Reflections on Romance in Boston
The Hatch Shell
On July 4th every year, hundreds of people gather at the Hatch Shell to listen to music before the fireworks at nightfall. During our courtship, Edward and I often met after his day of work. We read poetry to each other as we enjoyed a picnic dinner. The sailboats on the river added to the lovely festive mood of the evening. After our daughter was born we brought her with us, and added the playground on the Esplanade to the places we spent time on July 4th. The shell is also where some Earth Day celebrations have been held for Boston's citizens. Nelson Mandela appeared there soon after his release from jail.
Boston Gondola Tours
If you can't travel to Venice, bring Venice to you. The Charles River may not be a Venetian channel, but it possesses a romantic character that inspired the owner of the Boston Gondola Tours to open shop and offer Bostonians the chance to create great memories. Edward and I planned to celebrate our first anniversary with a gondola tour. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and rain canceled our plans. We have not made another attempt at a gondola ride, but we do plan to take a ride with our daughter when she is a little older.
Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
The Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain is accessible by the orange line subway. Take it to Forest Hills Station at the end of the orange line and walk up the street. The park is free to the public and closes at nightfall. There are many places to explore there, including a cabbage meadow, pond, bonsai collection, and mountain ecosystem. Every Mother's Day is "Lilac Sunday." Eating a picnic lunch is allowed on that day. People walk around sniffing their lilac bushes, which are intoxicating, and watching dance performances. They usually also have art projects to engage in, such as creating a card decorated by dried flowers and leaves.
Lake in Rockport, MA.
Lovely Cape Ann ~ North of Boston
- Rockport, MA | Travel Guide for Rockport, Massachusetts
Features all of the attractions that make Rockport, MA a fun and romantic place to visit: seashore, marina, lake, playground, shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
- City of Gloucester, MA - Official Visitor site
On the seashore, there is the Gloucester Fishermen's Memorial.
Cape Ann on the North Shore
In addition to spending time in Boston, the three of us have enjoyed time spent together on the North Shore. Rockport, Gloucester, Manchester, and Newburyport are a few towns on scenic Cape Ann that we have visited. In Manchester-by-the-Sea, "Singing Beach" is a favorite spot to visit. As a family, the three of us visited Gloucester during their St. Peter's festival and had a grand time looking at sand sculptures, watching our daughter ride the carousel, and visiting the mariner's memorial marked by the famous fisherman at the wheel. Among all of the towns we have visited, our favorite to keep returning to is Rockport. The town is very walkable, hosts several art galleries, and is a short meander from the seashore. Across from the seashore is a small playground, and just beyond the playground is a peaceful lake. When we visit, we usually eat at The Fish Shack, which is full of atmosphere and serves delicious seafood. Our favorite time of year to take the train to Rockport from Boston's North Station is autumn. The fall colors come to life and the salty air is refreshing to breathe in.
Valentine's Day Dinner 2012
Chemical attraction is a must in a "Soul Mate" relationship. We are human, and our personal "chemistry" either mixes well with another person's or it does not. This is the mix that makes the fireworks, the love potion that attracts us to one another from across a crowded room, When the attraction is there, it's powerful.
Once the "chemical attraction" has been achieved, it must be kept strong by shared experience. The same can be said for appreciating the strengths that your partner and supporting him or her in the pursuit of his or her heart's desires. Keeping the flow of endorphins by enjoying pleasurable pursuits together and appreciating each other have strengthened the bonds that our chemical attraction formed over 10 years ago.
But, no discussion about "chemical attraction" is complete without mentioning the chemistry that happens in the kitchen. It is still very true that "the fastest way to a man's heart is through his stomach." I started by creating home-made pizzas for Edward, and he made German chocolate cakes with butter pecan frosting for me. He even made me chili once. Though he puts forth a great Sunday brunch spread, he still prefers me to cook, and I love it. Culinary art is one of my favorite forms of artistic expression.
I believe that it is human to bond over sharing a meal. When we feed each other, we are satisfying a basic human need. But because humans are creatures on a higher evolutionary plane than other species that also need sustenance, it is important to us to enjoy the taste of our meals. Sharing good food with other humans is a unifying experience, and builds the bonds of affection and respect between people. This is true on both a small scale (romance and friendship) and a larger scale (community life).
Our home away from home
3. Souls Touch
From the interests over which great minds meet, and the chemical attraction that brings lovers closer together, the space is created for us to take off the masks that keep us safe from the world so that we give each other a chance to see who we really are. Edward and I chatted for hours at a time: over dinner at Charlie's Saloon , over coffee and pie at The Trident Bookseller Cafe , over burgers at The Pour House . On one of our first dates, we just made funny faces at each other. If lovers can open up and be silly together, the real magic between them is most likely to last a long time. Humor heals and eases tensions, and keeps us young...and it's sexy.
Spending time in nature is another way that my husband and I have connected. We have spent time hiking on wooded trails, walking in gardens, and sitting by the sea. These times also inspire him to practice his photography skills.
We both care about Social Justice, too. My husband has been a member of Amnesty International, and I have been participated in the Walk for Hunger and serving at the Wednesday Night Supper Club at the Paulist Center on Park Street, downtown Boston.
4. Shared Goals and Commitment
So, after several years of bonding over countless merry meetings and partings, we decided that it was time to take the next step: commitment to one another through marriage. We met late in our thirties, so if we wanted to start a family, we needed to do it soon. We knew enough about each other to know that we shared common values with which we would want to raise a family: home-schooling our child(ren), no television, setting aside family time, and the importance of social justice (Edward is a long-time member of Amnesty International).
Being two people who held onto a remnant of caution in relationships, we needed to finally throw that caution to the wind and take the leap of faith that would keep us growing together, offering each other ongoing support, as we had been, for realizing our dreams, both personal and collective.
Since then, my husband has been taking more landscape photos and I have cooked, or helped cook, more meals than we can count. We also find ways to keep up our work toward the end of social justice. From time to time, we need to sit down to reassess how we go about working together to achieve our dreams, and now our daughter's. These times are fun, and we look forward to them.
Links to organizations we believe in:
- Amnesty International | Working to Protect Human Rights
Writing letters to free prisoners of conscience is one way that my husband and I believe in supporting those who stand up for justice and people who suffer human rights abuses daily.
- The Trust for Public Land - Homepage
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national, nonprofit, land conservation organization.
- The Paulist Center Boston
The Paulist Center is a progressive Catholic community center on Park Street in Boston, with an emphasis on social justice issues.
- Catholic Worker Movement
Description of and links to principal websites about the Catholic Worker Movement.
- WUMB Radio
This station is listener-funded and independent. It is unique - the only station of its kind in the country.
Sharing Our Passions
My husband and I have woven the values we are most passionate about into the way we work together as a couple and the way we parent out daughter. The links we have provided are a legacy that we want to share with friends and family.
Economic, political and environmental justice are interdependent and we value working toward justice for everyone everywhere. We believe in using our abilities to write and speak on behalf of people who do not have as strong a voice in our world because they do not have the freedoms of personal expression that we have in the U.S. Therefore, we write letters for Amnesty International.
In order to bring the value of environmental justice to as many people as possible, we contribute to the work of the Trust for Public Land. The organization's philosophy is that if people develop a relationship with nature from an early age, they learn to value natural places and are more likely to conserve them.
Through the Paulist Center and the Catholic Worker movement, we have met people who have taken risks on behalf of social, economic, and environmental justice. At the Paulist Center we have hosted concerts by musicians whose work is featured on WUMB, a local publicly-funded radio station.
Art that speaks to us
Making a Happy Family
My husband and I have recently listened to the audio edition of this book. We recommend this to all parents who seek to nurture their children mindfully and soulfully.
5. Learning and Growing Together
Edward and I have been married for over 10 years. We have trusted each other enough to take more leaps of faith together, and have grown because of it. Several years ago, we bought a home in a co-housing community. We also made the decision to work together to home-school our daughter.
When we moved, we lived close to scenic parks and lakes, rich family-friendly activities, museums, and other fabulous resources. When our daughter came into our lives, we were blessed to share many hours of fun at these places with her. But there came a time when we decided that a move to a place with more land and the opportunity to own our own home was very important to our happiness and growth. That is when we became passionate about buying into a co-housing community.
As a result of our move, we have met more home-schooling parents and have been able to grow our own food organically. I help with creating and cleaning up after community meals and am a member of our community's gardening and landscaping group. Edward helps plant trees and mows grass. Leaving the Arnold Arboretum behind was less painful because we have so much land to walk around on and friendly neighbors to get to know, and Tower Hill Botanical Garden is only a 15 minute drive from our home.
I know that the longer we live here, the more we will grow because of the resources available to us, and the relationships we have with our fellow co-housing community members. Our daughter has made lots of friends and is happy in the groups we are connected to, such as our Unitarian Church, the ballet studio where she has taken dance lessons, and the home-schooling group we belong to. There is also a music store in our town that offers private instrument lessons, which is the next arts education frontier for our daughter.
Learning for all of Us
As a home-schooling family, we enjoy learning together. My husband is willing to learn new ways to walk to the library and new techniques for his photography. I recently enrolled him in a digital photography class at Tower Hill Botanical Garden as a Birthday/Father's Day gift. He is excited to use what he has learned as he walks around our community or through the adjacent conservation land. He recently have me a book about the art of Zentangle and a journal to practice in as a Mother's Day gift. We have joined two home-schooling cooperatives and I have taken gardening classes at our UU church. I have also begun leading a writer's group, which our daughter participates in occasionally. If she isn't writing or walking the labyrinth with me, or I am swinging with her, she is playing at the playground with her co-housing friends.
* This hub is an answer to a question posed by Jynzly: How do we know that our other half is our soul mate or not?
Strong Family Bonds Last a Lifetime
The relationships we build with our children from the beginning of their lives will give them a foundation to return to over and over as their lives bring them further away from their home turf. Our undivided attention, away from the lure of media, speaks volumes about the values we care about most.
We Have Options
There are now more resources for learning to create strong bonds with our children than ever before. We are not stuck with repeating the way our parents raised us if there were aspects of our childhoods that may have been unpleasant, or did not prepare us for mature relationships as adults. It is important that couples raise their children mindfully, in a spirit of cooperation. Clear, consistent communication is the path to raising a healthy family together.
Enjoy the links to ideas that we have put into practice with much joy, and have led to the formation of many fond memories that we cherish!
Links that reflect our approach to parenting:
- What is API All About? - Attachment Parenting International
A web site that promotes parenting practices that keep parents connected to their children, and keep family bonds strong and supportive.
- Parenting with Soul ~ Queen of the Castle | The Wonder of Childhood
An eloquent blog that beckons parents to create a mindful atmosphere full of soul and happiness in the home.
- Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD
Also, read Dr. Cohen's award-winning book, "Playful Parenting," available on Amazon.com.
- What Is Cohousing? | The Cohousing Association of the United States
Cohousing is a unique experience that contributes to a family's sustenance and growth. This link explains how.
The Boston that Brought and Kept Us Together
An independent bookseller and cafe. With cozy aromas, it will captivate and inspire hours of happy browsing.
Located in the heart of Copley Square in Boston, Charley's offers the dining experience you are in the mood for at any time of day.
From "Burgermania" to their "Burrito Maness", the Pour House offers affordable dining and your favorite brew on tap any day or night of the week.
Wonderful place for a Sunday stroll and features classes related to the history of the Arboretum's holdings. Great for both couples and families.
Located up the street from The Puppet Showplace Theatre,this cafe is cozy, quiet, and serves a variety of entrees, snacks, and beverages.
The esplanade is a scenic walkway, for walkers and bicyclists along the Charles River. On the Esplanade are playgrounds, benches,and the Hatch Shell.
Hours of browsing will bring visitors in touch with centuries of art at the MFA.
An independent and original art gallery that is also home to Stone Soup Poetry and other open mics.
A fabulous place to go for hands-on science experiences!
A favorite location since as long as I can remember.
© 2012 Karen Szklany Gault