Let’s Dare to Compare

Feb 20, 2016

Let’s Dare to Compare


Rite of Passage Four –First Love–
From the book ‘Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world’
Question #11 ‘Preoccupation’
(1945 – age 11)


First love has a way of taking over one’s mind…almost completely. Is this very human Rite of Passage any different today than it was in our past?

I found myself delighted last week that my blog on meeting Treena should coincide with Valentines Day. It was completely unplanned! Today’s blog is just one more like-minded memory from those early days.

I was totally preoccupied with this new sensation. I was in love before I had the slightest idea what that meant. The only evidence of such a possibility was seeing such movies as The Stratton Story, staring June Allyson and Jimmy Stewart, that we went to see at the cinema in East Grinstead (UK). This was way before television and our favorite radio program ‘Dick Barton Special Agent’ contained not the slightest clue about young love.

There was the poet Shelley whose poem ‘Love’s Philosophy’ allowed gentle words to begin to provide some early stirrings of our emotion. “The fountains mingle with the river, and the rivers with the ocean…”

Love’s Philosophy


The fountains mingle with the river

And the rivers with the ocean,

The winds of heaven mix for ever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single;

All things by a law divine

In one spirit meet and mingle.

Why not I with thine?—

See the mountains kiss high heaven

And the waves clasp one another;

No sister-flower would be forgiven

If it disdained its brother;

And the sunlight clasps the earth

And the moonbeams kiss the sea:

What is all this sweet work worth

If thou kiss not me?


It was the reading of Shelley and in the holding of hands that I found my greatest and deepest longing; a desire to never ever let her go.

Treena was my first love, she was ten and I was just eleven. I was not her first “boyfriend”; that honor went to Tony Thames from the village of Forest Row. They had written to each other and we took his letters to the local bridge, tore them up and dropped them in the river…

…and I watched Tony float around the bend!

So…what about now?

I watch, with utter amazement, at how the vast flood of often explicit sexual content that targets young people is changing everything!

Birds and bees appear now to be almost laughingly redundant.

June Allyson’s devotion to her “husband” Jimmy Stewart has been replaced by the practical benefits of using condoms.

Oh, I know, I’m now old enough to be expected to huff and puff a bit but I find I’m more likely to groan over this apparent loss of innocence.

If there is one overreaching emotion I have about my early years and the first blush of love it is one of…gratitude.

My life then was without callouses, it was tender and cut adrift from the world about us. It was, in one word…heavenly! But then, in those days, the word heaven had not been hijacked and brought down to the base level of today’s derisive debates between competing political ideologies.

It was like the brush of a young girls hand against mine…ahhhh



P.S. This week I read Treena’s poem “So Be It


  1. Mike . Says: 5:53 pm

    I heard a counselor on a radio program say that she is greatly disturbed that our culture no longer believes in true romantic love. She said that from her studies and surveys not only are young people not marrying (Why? The odds are against success anyway) but divorced people are not even dating (been there, done that). We are seeing a cynicism unheard of before. Young people believe so-called love is really just a sugar-coated word for selfishness. All love is conditional, not unconditional. Since finding someone who loves them unconditionally is impossible, young people abandon the search, and just learn to live alone. The social problems resulting from this cynicism include a rise in pornography and prostitution, decreased childbirths, social isolation and alienation, depression, and a pessimistic worldview. She said the old saying that love makes the world go round is truer than most people think. Our society needs to once again adopt the motto that love can conquer all.

  2. Jeanette Says: 11:30 am

    I am having restored hope in all things intimate & cultural by looking back into God’s sovereignty and dependability. He is not touched, distressed or derailed in His values by social media or loss of external supports for our virtue, self respect or honor. He is completely available and powerful to fulfill our dreams that match His in His timing.
    Some of my relationship bumps have come from really wanting my own way instead of His. He actually often lets my try out my own way so I make an informed choice of His way. He does not violate my free will or that of another who may sin against me. Yet He does not abandon me. Only God is glorious & always beautiful & definitely inscrutable. So, HANG ON FOR THE RIDE!!!

  3. Mitchell B Mahony Says: 1:17 pm

    Yes. All four times. No regrets. After Tami, there was Cynthia. A very level headed and down to earth woman who was 6+ years younger but very mature and taught me the difference between love and infatuation. She tried to convince me that I was only infatuated with Tami. But I disagreed. I KNOW better whatever she thought. That lasted almost 3 years. Some people think of that as wasted time. I don’t think it was. Then there was Heather. And because our office was closing and we were heading of to other offices in different parts of the country, we may have jumped the gun so we could transfer together and got married prematurely. But we probably would not have known otherwise. But I DID meet my soulmate and my lobster (Friends TV show reference), Mary. We have been married for 17 years now and we have had a few downs but mostly ups and I wouldn’t trade her for anything. We have a lot of plans for the next 17 years and beyond. They would not include each other.
    One thing I notice about relationships today, people are not in as big of a hurry to get married. I think a lot of it has to do with both people settling into careers first. They are not in a hurry to start a family. But they want to be together anyway so the are. They want to ‘kick the tires’ first and keep kicking them for several years before finally settling down. Part of me thinks it’s not such a bad idea-REALLY get to know that person before taking the plunge. It’s a LOT easier to get married than to get divorced. Cheaper too.

  4. Jon Stevens Says: 7:26 am

    Innocence is valued by God. Why else did he tell Adam and Eve to leave alone the tree of life if he did not desire their innocence to fill the Garden of Eden?

  5. Jean N Sozio Says: 6:02 am

    Our compulsion to get married was so we could live together forever – legally and righteously – wholesome and pure – and produce a family. We knew each other as members of common family. We dated 6 months and were engaged 13 months before the wedding day. We maintained a commitment to purity which caused our passion for each other to ripen month after month. That passion has undergirded our relationship to this day as re-bar in concrete. In the 60’s & 70’s shame was a controling factor in remaining pure. The thought of divorce was not tolerated. I’m sorry that we have lost those virtues – honor and respect – for one’s self and for others. This world is cursed by depravity and the scourge of the enemy of our souls who rules the air – our communication devices. I also was raised to respect my person – to keep it holy – and to know my own mind and not be led by the status quo. It has never failed me. I am my own best friend.

  6. Hope Says: 7:57 pm

    Young people today miss that thrill of becoming FRIENDS and then lovers. My husband and I were friends for a year. We GREW into love. He was, truly, the nicest guy I had ever met – 32 years later he still is! Young people want to rush into relationship in just a few, short days – they want the FEELING of love. So often that feeling is lust – not love. For many years I carried an Erma Bombeck clipping in my purse. She said, “Love is friendship that has caught on fire.” True, I think.

  7. Dianne Says: 1:40 pm

    your young love sounds idyllic, you’ve been blessed, I think I looked too hard to find that kind of love, i should have just waited until He sent it too me, I loved but not the deep kind you talk about, I was always trying to do things on my own, now that I’m much older, I have His forgiving love, & that of my family & friends, I’m very content & Blessed & thankful.

  8. Lynn Says: 12:38 pm

    I’d say a hefty “huff and puff” is well placed!

    I view our culture’s display for all to see (who look) at what is portrayed as “love” in the media. And now with the glut of social media, other doors are wide opened to bring the wrong messages. They never incorporate the sacredness for which God created the expression of love between a man and woman and a consecrated marriage relationship being the place where it will bloom.

    My growing up years were just on the cusp of television. The movies were, as you expressed Graham, laced with the innocence of that blush of love. The heart of many was the deep commitment within marriage and the weathering of loss and working together through trials. My own heart grieves that these kinds of current messages are all that most of our young people know unless they are in stable homes where parents can convey the truth. Even then, they are still exposed to all this other. Innocence has been lost, if only by default. And it is not just youth. Adults of all ages have bought into the lie and are choosing to feed off of it. I don’t know the antidote and believe that God grieves. But we can make choices about our own lives and share our truth when called upon and know at least we tried to make a difference in expressing that there is a better way to embrace one’s sexuality and one aspect of how it was meant to be lived.

  9. Jennifer Maydole Says: 9:47 am

    My husband, Brian and I are both blessed to have parents married for 55 years and 65 years. To experience the love through the ups and downs of life keep us both beleiving that God’s first choice for us is to find love and a mate for life.
    The guy I fell in love with first, was in Agape Force in my early 20s. I belive that he could have been the life long mate but refused God’s urging to make changes in his heart and mind. Thankfully, my close friends in Agape Force supported my decision to call off our engagement and wedding day.
    Thanks to the love and mercy of The Lord, He brought Brian in to my life. We have a 22 year old daughter and 18 year old son. I have advised them both, “just because you fall in love with someone, it doedn’t necessarily that you should marry them.” Pray for God’s leading and confirmation.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *