People get all mixed up with the word, Love. Such a small word and yet all kinds of confusion exists around it. The waiting to say it, the waiting for someone to say it back. The moments you wish you had said it and the moments you wish you hadn’t. The doubt over its validity… its confusion with other words: perhaps a simple ‘like’ would be more apt, perhaps friendship or politeness is all it is.

But love is simple.

Love is friendship, politeness, liking, waiting, longing.

Love is affection, warmth, tenderness, goodwill, brotherliness, sisterliness, sympathy. Love is care. And when you take away all the pressures the little word has to endure from time to time and let it live as it was made to, freely and abundantly, you realise love is everywhere, in everything you care about. Big or small, it’s love.

Travel is love – It is a show of love for yourself and the world. It is caring enough about your life to let yourself grow and caring enough about the planet to get out and spend time with it.

Family is love – It is love unchanged, no matter the stern words or holidays missed. Family is blended and big or simple and small. Spending time, a trip or a tea break, with family… that’s love. Gifts, words, a hand on the shoulder, attending a son’s cricket match or a mother’s concert… love.

Food is love – Caring about what you put into your body and where the food comes from (how it was treated in the creation of the dish and its impact on the environment)… that is love. The most essential kind.

Romance is love – The sweetness of finding your person, the breakfast in bed surprises, the note on the pillow and the secretly drawn bubble bath, the proposal under the Victoria Falls, the honeymoon and the promise to care, to be there, eternally.

Giving is love – Donating, whether it be time, energy, money, books or bricks for building, is an act of kindness that comes right from the heart. Caring about others… helping those in need… it’s love but it’s also a recognition of the greater network. We are all in this together. Understanding, tolerance, acceptance and compassion – therein lie the answers to true love.

Conservation is love – Protecting the earth, our wide open spaces, our ancient baobabs and our fresh flowing river, reducing waste and single-use plastics, supporting local, eating sustainably, this is how we show the planet love. Choosing to live in this way, you can feel the shift inside yourself. Every choice you make is one of love, not ruin. It is thinking about the great forever.

This month, the month of love, we have been pondering these things deeply. We’ve felt barriers drop even further, spreading love, genuine love, like confetti, every which way we can. A funny thing happens when you do this, when you strip away the confusion and the fear and go all in with love, the people around you start to recognize all the love in their own lives, the love hiding in corners, waiting to be seen.

Love is simple. Say it, feel it, pass it on.