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All you need is love

The Culinary Caveman reveals why love is the route to connection and unity
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
All you need is love

This article first appeared in our Love issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 09 April 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

During their breakup, my friends proclaimed they were ‘definitely still in love’. This only made me think that I love Kalamata olives, ripe mangos, spectacular sunsets and dandelion seeds taking flight.

To really love something is to share a harmonious togetherness with it; whether we love a film, song, person, vista or fruit, we get the same end result.

Biologically, love creates an impressive chain of chemical reactions, stimulating the production and experience of hormones and all the corresponding minerals, vitamins, enzymes, receptors, synapses and genes. Surprisingly, most of these are shared by all living organisms, whether a tree, shrew, whale or butterfly.

Love is everywhere – if we tune in. It is an invisible cord joining all of humanity. It is free, can’t be commoditised and, when understood as collective consciousness, it is a phenomenal force. Rarely tapped into, this ‘love’ is ultimately an experience that could be shared among the entire human race, and that defines our true common unity.

Witnessing a miracle

The word ‘love’ was first used well over 5,000 years ago; back then it was leubh, meaning to care for or desire. This meaning of love was censored by the Church, which substituted the word with ‘charity’. The switch legitimised the Church’s own wealth and power for centuries. It also justified the existence of poor people, who enabled the rich to practise charity.

Attention was diverted from the blatant immorality and unfairness of the existence of immensely rich people in the first place.

Love is one of our oldest sensations – one that unites all human beings while bonding and comforting us. Annoyingly love is ephemeral; it’s almost impossible to pin down, yet love will always be the answer – not least because peace and love never begat hate and fear.

I was unfairly excluded from my step-grandmother’s family for years, but demanded to see her on her deathbed (after last rites had just been administered) because she was the only person from the family I loved.

I was told she wouldn’t recognise me due to her advanced dementia and near-death condition, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Our eyes met, and for the next two hours we laughed and cried as we shared all the love we had for each other, and our souls danced a heavenly tango.

In this curtained hospital cubicle, the love radiated a golden, beautiful glow.

She lived for a further eight months; the family I never see, who only love money, were convinced a miracle had happened – when it was only the power of love.

All you need is love

Lockdown has brought the feeling of connectedness, of not being alone, into sharp focus. As we yearn to resume our social animal status (it’s not just guinea pigs who can die of loneliness), many of us have stopped wondering what it is we want and instead ask: what do I need?

To answer this there is no one better than John Lennon. After discovering he’d be involved in the first global transmission of live televised music in 1967, John set about writing a song he thought would resonate with as many people as possible all over the world.

What did he write? All You Need Is Love.

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