The swain tells his sweetie, "I could not love thee half so much, loved I not honor more."
Are there limits to love? Ought there be? Certainly, we all have limits, and one lover may be capable of more than another, but beyond those individual boundaries, there may be common-sense or philosophical extents to the expression of love.
Whatever those limits may be, I am happy my parents did not stint their love, did not limit themselves to the "normal" family size. I am willing to bet my youngest brother, coming at the other end of that line of 11 children, is even more grateful than I am! Because the end result of an act of love is a years-long requirement for more of the same. The pain and effort to deliver a child is a walk in the park compared to the marathon of raising that child to be a human capable of love.
In the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge prompt this week, we are challenged to explore the topic:
September 16, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a love story. Explore what feeds love. It can be romantic or platonic. It can be devoted or damaged. It can be recovering or enduring. Focus on characters or setting, weaving a 99-word love story.
My flash looks at this from the perspective gained by observing my parents and realizing that any loving effort can be summed up in the same way. Whatever we love requires more from us than philosophy and limits. "In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children." But pain and sorrow, loss and disappointment are possible in any endeavor—whatever we invest with our love.
DeliveryAn intense cramp shot through Carrie's back. Just a little more, just one more push, and she'd be free of the burden she carried. She turned her head to see Jacob watching with concern. They had begun the loving task together, but this pain was hers to endure.
A bead of sweat trickled; damp hair clung to her brow, but she had no energy left to shake it from her eyes.
Reaching the edge of the field, Carrie dropped her rock. Across the new field of the farm they both loved, she saw Jacob's plow turn up another stone.