Something to Hold On To

When the two teenagers return hand in hand, the world is restored to balance. Months of the scientist’s work couldn’t do it — but love…

“They did this!” she exclaims. “Is that really all it took? Something so small and ordinary?” For once, she’s the one who needs explaining, and it takes an angel to do it: “Love is never small to those that discover it for the first time.”

Do you remember your first love? How warm it felt? How overwhelming? As if the world itself were about to stop turning. In His Dark Materials, it does. The lesson for us, however, comes without magic, daemons, or a multiversal war: Hold on to that feeling. Not the person, perhaps, but the glowing of the heart that seems to outshine even the sun; a power so strong it would move mountains only if planets weren’t available.

How old are you? How many years have passed? Ten? 20? 50? You still have the capacity to feel this feeling. You still have access to that power. I’d tell you to be careful, but I don’t believe you can use it for evil. To make mistakes, sure, but not for ill-intent. After all, it’s love.

On most days, however, you won’t rearrange the stars. You won’t have to. The faintest dose of glow in your bloodstream, and your face will break into a smile. On a Tuesday, that’s usually all it takes. Go on! Draw on it! Your supply won’t run out. The power of planets in the palm of our hand, and yet, we choose to micro-dose it for maximum effect. Now if that’s not magical…

Two teenagers, holding hands. It can throw even an angel off guard. After all, it’s not just the first time: Love is never small to those who cherish it.