As many of you probably know from my tweets and posts, when I watch television, any show I watch has to meet at least one of these two requirements: 1) It must be British, and/or 2) It must not take place in present day. My only exception to this is the inexplicable loveliness that is Gilmore girls. But that’s a story for another day.
It’s no secret that my favorite period drama series is, of course, Downton Abbey. But a close second would have to be BBC’s Lark Rise to Candleford. I stumbled upon this show on Amazon Prime not even a month ago, and when I saw it I remembered that a friend had once recommended it to me in a comment on my blog post about Jane Austen. So, of course, I had to give it a try.
At first, I honestly wasn’t in love with it, but it grew on me. It helped that there were so many familiar faces (such as Brendan Coyle, aka John Bates from Downton Abbey). By the end of the first season, it’s safe to say that I was hooked.
There have been many moments while watching Lark Rise that I have both laughed and cried. There’s something in the stories of its characters that touches the heart and soul. One of the most moving moments was a situation that Laura Timmins, a young woman who was employed by the post office and a main character of the show, faced throughout seasons 2 and 3.
As with many other period dramas, there’s always some sort of love triangle that presents itself. While that may be no surprise here, Laura’s response to the choice she had to make moved me.
Let me explain. In season 2, Laura fell in love with a traveling clockmaker called Fisher Bloom. Their affection grew quickly, but as time passed, they both began to realize that their relationship may not last. Fisher’s occupation required him to travel from one place to the next, building clocks and leaving as soon as they began to tick. He wasn’t someone who could settle – or rather, he wasn’t someone who wanted to settle.
As Laura began to realize this, she began to question Fisher and his motives for pursuing her. She even tried to trick him into staying when the time was coming close for him to leave. After that, Fisher actually promised Laura he would stay; he would find a way to be with her in Candleford.
But, in the end, he left. And he broke Laura’s heart in the process.
It took Laura quite some time to move forward, but she did her best. And it probably helped that a new man came into town to distract her in season 3.
About a year later, as she began to fall for Daniel Parish, a journalist, she was blindsided by a letter from Fisher, informing her that he would soon be passing through Candleford and wanted to see her. It threw her into a complete state of confusion. She had to take some time to examine her heart and decide if she were truly over him.
I have to be honest, I was admittedly on the edge of my seat over the course of these next few episodes. I couldn’t even decide for myself who Laura should choose. I liked Fisher. I mean, I was definitely mad at him for breaking Laura’s heart, but he seemed to genuinely love Laura and was sorry he had left her. Yet, at the same time, I couldn’t find a fault in Daniel, and I felt bad for this interruption in his pursuit of Laura.
And this is where Laura reminded me of a very important lesson I once learned myself. So, listen close.
After much thought, Laura faced Fisher with grace, wisdom and truth. She explained to him that she still had feelings for him, but that those feelings were not love – they were romance. He was good with words and could easily make her swoon, but she believed he wasn’t the sort of man who could commit his life to loving her well.
This is where she walks away. She closes the door. She parts with him. And she says it’s not because of Daniel – she admits she’s unsure of the future of their relationship, but it didn’t matter. Her decision would remain the same regardless.
It’s obvious that Laura recognizes that love is not a feeling. Romance is a feeling, but love is an action. Love is waking up every day, serving your spouse and preferring them above yourself – even if you don’t feel like it. When you love someone, you will no doubt have romantic feelings for them – that’s called affection. It’s an emotion. But it is not strong enough to hold a marriage together.
Think of how often you experience different feelings – happiness, excitement, sadness, anger, etc. Can they not quickly come and go? The same goes for romance. It can pass, and there must be something else – something greater – left in its wake to keep spouses together.
The bible tells us what that is, doesn’t it? It’s called love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8