Agave Nectar is the 5th book of love poems in my Valentine's Day Series. This collection explores how we see and feel the Beloved in life through the perception of Beauty, through an attitude of Reverence, and through a state of Wonder; and holds out the promise that we can harvest love out of great difficulty, even out of the loneliness that we mistakenly believe means we are unlovable.
Agave Nectar is harvested from the agave plant, which thrives in the hot, dry, and hostile environment of the desert and can survive on very little water. It is sometimes called the “century plant” because it takes years, as many as 25 years, before the plant matures and then it dies after producing a single flower. The nectar is difficult to harvest and must be timed perfectly at the moment the plant matures. The branches have spiked edges that are so sharp and tough they can be used as needles. They must be cut away and then you must dig down to get to the center bulb in order to collect the juice. That juice is the source of the sweetener we can use in our daily lives and, famously, for the tequila we can drink in celebration. Agave nectar is an apt metaphor for a deep truth: that we can harvest the sweetness of life out of great difficulty, that loneliness is not an impoverished condition, but the vehicle through which we nourish our love.
Twilight in the tropics
may set the heart on fire,
but what stirs our candlelit eyes
often pales in the noonday sun.
That is why I prefer cactus
and camels and those who know
the preciousness of water.
I want my love like agave nectar,
the sweet we harvest out of endurance;
and the desert blossom that reminds us,
no matter how thick and thorny our skin,
we can still show our beauty.
--Excerpted from the poem Agave Nectar