What Serves the Love?
“How can I give more and be more with the time that I have left?”
When Tembi Locke was in her twenties she left a letter in a drawer at a coffee shop that read: "I want to live a life of love and companionship."
Her heart-expanding memoir and Netflix series, From Scratch, encapsulates its manifestation across three love stories: With her late husband Saro, daughter Zoela, and mother-in-law, Nonna.
From Scratch begins with Tembi landing in Italy for a semester abroad, where she’d soon run into Saro on the streets of Florence. The more I reflected on the book, the more its true gift revealed itself. Their family’s journey navigating life’s great questions — on love and loss, forgiveness and reconciliation — isn’t solely an exploration of the answers. It’s an embodiment of them.
We see it in Tembi’s conviction reconciling Saro and his family, after their marriage separated them. In his mother and sister’s bravery answering their invitation in a traditional culture. Then, in their family’s choice to begin anew, rather than relive the past.
Throughout, we witness Tembi and Saro’s choice to live fully — adopting their daughter and spending summers in Sicily — despite his devastating illness. Their courage unveils two questions we may all reflect on.
“Living with a terminal diagnosis, Saro was wrestling with his mortality from the time that he opened his eyes in the morning…If there is this timestamp approaching, how do I want to live, right?
How can I give more and be more with the time that I have left?”
The urgency of Saro’s question may have been intensified by his tragic illness. Still, it’s an urgency we may all embrace.
Tembi offers a simple compass that helps her do so.
“I always say: What serves the love?
It’s an exercise in refining that inner intuitiveness that tells me what love is asking for in a particular moment.”
Let’s carry Tembi’s question with us this week. What is one relationship you may deepen by following love as a compass? What might unfold if you do?