By Nancy Loyan, author of Special Angel, The Right Combination, Wishes and Tears, Hearts of Steel, and Lab Test
The holiday season is upon us. To me, Christmas means much more than excessive shopping, binge eating, and drinking. Christmas is a time for love.
Love at Christmas encompasses all types of love: familial love, brotherly love, love of nature and beast and romantic love. After all, the holiday is based on love. A Christian-based holiday, Christmas is about God so loving the world that he sent his Son down to be a part of it. His son, Jesus, is the “reason for the season.” Whether one believes it or not, there wouldn’t be a Christmas without the “Christ.” Christ is love.
In my novel, Special Angel, all types of love are explored. My heroine, Angelique, is from the forest and performed before the animals and nature long before she reaches the world stage. This is where she discovers her talent and love for singing. She is raised in an Abbey among nuns and it is here where she first questions the meaning of love. Growing up with strict and impersonal discipline, she learns that other children have parents who hug them, kiss them, nurture them and love them. Her life is devoid of these basic human interactions, the love, that she so longs to experience.
When she is “adopted,” her “parents,” do not offer affection but hold her prisoner as the “goose that lays the golden egg.” She is sheltered, used, and abused. Only on stage, with an adoring audience, does she feel any emotion coming close to love. Is music and being on stage love?
Through life’s difficulties, her faith keeps her sane and secure. Is God love?
Only when she is helped by journalist Brian Andrews does she experience the love of friendship and the love shared between a man and a woman. The feeling is new and frightening. Is it truly love?
What is love?
This is a difficult question. Love cannot be easily defined. Each person has a unique experience when it comes to this deep and important human emotion. For Angelique, being the subject of mental and physical abuse, love is far more difficult to comprehend. When one’s life is devoid of it, can one truly experience it? Can one overcome one’s past and create a new life, a life with love?
I’m sure that each of us has grappled with the meaning of love. What better holiday than Christmas to rethink its meaning in our lives. It is a fitting time to share the love of God, family, friends, significant other, nature and animals. The New Year is a perfect time to create a new life filled with love!