The Places Love Appears

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(Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP)
Elissa Ely had every intention of practicing yoga after checking out a book. (Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP)

You never know where love turns up. This time, it was in a library book of yoga exercises. I’d taken the book out and renewed it once, in the hopes of starting a conversation with my woebegotten lower back. We haven’t been speaking for a while, now.

But I never opened it, and two months later, there was an e-mail reminder — a gentle cypervoice lowered to library tones — that it was due in two days. Time was wasting, and the closed book was doing my spine no good.

I turned to Chapter 1, and started flipping through, looking for stretches, flipping faster and faster, as if reading a pose was the same as mastering it.

Somewhere between Cobra and Corpse, a slice of folded paper fell out. "DEVON," it said, in magic marker. I glanced right, left, then unfolded it.

“Dev,” the writer had written. “Can’t wait to see you again! You are beautiful! I love you noodles and noodles! Mom.”  The O’s in “noodles” and “Mom” were covered with hearts.

It’s none of my business whether the note found its mark--but that hasn’t stopped the wondering. On sunless days, when life is nothing but an O. Henry ending, I’m sure Dev was just one more negligent reader with lower back pain — someone who returned the book to the library after two months without opening it, someone who never knew those loving noodles were waiting for him. But on sunnier days, when life is full of Vitamin D, I’m sure Devon has read his note a thousand times. On those days, he and his mother are practicing yoga together: she writes to him in Lotus position, he reads it in Mountain Pose. And when the sun is really out, it doesn’t even matter whether he found the note or not. She has other ways to tell him she loves him.

This segment aired on July 6, 2013.


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