Usually it means 'I need you' or 'I want you'. Often it means, 'while you do what pleases me, I will feel benevolent thoughts towards you'. Rarely, if ever, it means 'it matters not what you do, what you say, where you go or how you are, I still feel nothing but love for you'.
How often do we feel this so-called 'love' pinched off when others fail to live up to our expectations? How often does this new, marvellous 'something' collapse into the waste bin of rejection, moments after we hold it in our hands. Can we be honest about this when it happens? Can we accept this frequent downturn about ourselves and our relationships, and do these lapses mean that what we feel is not love at all, but merely an addiction, a flight of fancy, a convenience, or a habit? Is it not the case that true love, real love, would never shut off just because someone didn't fulfil a desire?
Nature is full of love. You only have to watch a bee rolling around in bliss in a poppy to see love. It is in every bloom, every leaf, every twist of a honeysuckle, every tumble of a summer cloud, every burst of song from a blackbird at dawn. It is everywhere. Nature thrives because of love... love for itself, and love for all that it is.
But what we label human 'love' cannot be so, because human beings have agendas. We are selfish and pushy and arrogant. We have a wandering eye and a fickle heart. We are hardwired for more, better than this, something else - it is who we are.
Is it that we want perfection? Is it that we cannot live with ourselves, just as we are? Are we so full of shame and guilt and 'not good enough' that we see the flaws reflected back to us in everyone and everything around us?
When we look at a sundown, perhaps the most glorious we have ever seen, what happens as it fades? Are we, as humans, able to hold the wonder and awe of those precious moments, uplifted to a new height of contentment? Or do we turn away as the cool evening breeze brings a chill to our skin, and feel a sadness and a grief?
Are human beings ever capable of unconditional 'love'? Or will it be always something just out of our reach...