A summer in love 

It was summer and I had found someone special to share my world with. In the clear blue water, we were swimming up and down the stream, basking in each other’s love. It was like a stroke of luck that had taken us both by storm. A storm we could not detach ourselves from, but simply indulge in. Our only choice was to float with the current and see where it carried us. It is so with life that you never know where it will carry you.

For a long time, I had longed for someone to lean on to. Now I had found someone I could also lean into and confide in. Being in love feels like being in deep water where you cannot bottom. It feels intimidating to let go of one’s feelings, and trust that the other will also let go of theirs. It presupposes that you hold on to each other at the same time.

When I was a child, my father read aloud "The Red Cloak" by Betsy James. The story is a legend about a little girl who has lost her best friend to the Elves. A wise old woman tells her that when the Elves come by, she should jump out of her hiding place to grab her friend and hold him tight. Whatever happens, she must hold him tight. The boy turns into a lion, an ant, fire, and ice, but she holds him tight. Eventually he becomes himself again and the little girl wins him back from the Elves.

There are times I can be afraid of losing what I love. I'm afraid the whole thing will only last for a while and soon be over. All that enriches one’s life can quickly be lost again. But one can also quickly lose life, and all worries about the future may then turn out to have been without reason. Fear is a strange quantity, since what you fear, does mostly not exist in the present.

"From the heart flows life," writes Kierkegaard in "Works of Love." You must trust love and bet high if you want to experience the wonderful things in life. Imagine if you had not dared to bet your heart, and you suddenly were not here anymore, then you would not have lived at all. "To defraud oneself of love is the most terrible, is an eternal loss, for which there is no compensation either in time or in eternity," writes Kierkegaard. I think he is right: We have no choice but to trust love, and to flow with the current that carries us forward in life. Therefore, we must hold on to those we love, so we can grab each other if we fall.

Henriette Sabroe Ebbesen, 2022

Published on Photo Vogue, May 2022