Meg Buerkel Hunn, Advisory Council Chair: Unselfish Love

Feb 4, 2024 | Experiences

Wood knots from a downed tree in the Bosque… can you see the love?! Photo: Meg Hunn / Editing: Dosie Hunn

Where have you witnessed unselfish love? This question reverberated through the new movie A Case for Love.  The director, Brian Ide, decided to “examine the question of whether or not love, specifically unselfish love, is the solution to the extreme societal and political divide facing the world.”

The feature length documentary interviewed famous and not-so-famous people about love, and nearly everyone in the film said that love is not a “Hallmark” sentimentality but action.  Action that is often hard, sometimes radical, and is undertaken without expectation of a ‘reward.’  A former NFL player, diagnosed with ALS, continues to mentor and support others.  Foster parents adopt a trio of siblings, the youngest of whom has suffered such trauma that he is unable to say ‘I love you.’ A retired marine and his spouse help other military personnel suffering from PTSD.  And more…

Love is action.  It is realizing we are ALL humans; all carrying our own troubles and joys; all in need of love.  In the month where LOVE is highlighted (often with chocolates, roses, and wine), of course this post had to be about LOVE!

Watering CanAnd this is also a gardening post!  I submit that our actions as gardeners are also expressions of love.  We love and tend the green growing things in our care by watering them, by providing nutrients, by offering shade from the intense NM sun, by pruning them, and more.  And, as Robin Wall Kimmerer so gracefully puts it in her book Braiding Sweetgrass, our plants ‘love’ us back – they give us beauty, they provide us oxygen, they ‘sink’ carbon dioxide, they feed us.  Plants bring us humans together around dinner tables, and they beckon us into gardens and parks and natural spaces to admire their peaceful beauty.

This month, as culture focuses on Cupid-red-heart love, let us dig deeper (literally, perhaps?) to plant a tree as a love-note to future generations.  As the grocery stores peddle chocolate hearts, let us plan (and execute) delicious meals that bring people together and nourish their bodies and hearts.  As the stores sell long stem roses by the dozens, let us nurture the natural beauty around us.  Let us love unselfishly with our actions toward other humans – and our actions in the natural world. picnic