“This is a gathering of Lovers.
In this gathering
there is no high, no low,
no smart, no ignorant,
Never miss a local story.
no special assembly,
no grand discourse,
no proper schooling required.
There is no master,
This gathering is more like a drunken party,
full of tricksters, fools,
mad men and mad women.”
Every Hallmark holiday is rooted in some ancient ritual and/or death of someone or another. Valentine’s Day is no exception. A priest named Valentinus was brutally executed for marrying young people in the Roman Catholic Church. (Emperor Claudius II felt married folk made for weaker soldiers, what with their familial ties and all so … gack!) Ever after, Valentinus was held as the symbol of romantic love.
Ah, love, let me count the ways (one, one thousand, two, one thousand, three … sorry, channeling Rodger Rabbit). Motherly love, puppy love, first love. “For the love of Pete!” as my aunt used to say. I truly believe it is what cures all, makes it all worth living and is the greatest gift we can give. But, romantic love …
You think you know what it feels like, then you realize you had no idea what you were talking about. You hope it’s a one-size-fits-all deal when you daydream about it, but then find it is slipperier than any shape-shifter the Dineh could ever have imagined. It sprouts, it grows, it matures, it evolves.
Sometimes you want nothing to do with it, but it tags you anyway. It may make you cry or laugh when it does. You may force it to be something it is not … or try to. Ah, what a tangled web we weave.
Often the term can be aggrandized, overused, used as a ploy for something less noble or to boost one’s own image. Hopefully, you are all cultivating what it really is to leave your heart doors open and genuinely allow the warmth of others to stroll in.
Let’s be honest. Well, maybe I mean, more specific: What are you really feeling? How about, “you so make me smile” or “I feel way more at ease when you’re around” or “I really need to belong and you make me feel like I do!” I personally believe love incorporates all of the above and so much more, whether it’s toward a buddy of the same sex, your cat or someone else you are in regular contact with that makes your world fuller and richer.
How about this one: love of the environment? I am a part of it, so I belong to it. When it’s in balance and healthy, I am much more at ease and I usually cannot help but smile when I am witnessing a perfect sunrise over a mountain lake from a cozy sleeping bag.
What’s more, it is always there, it never leaves you, including when you disrespect it and take it for granted. It can ground you when you are drifting, inspire you, scare you with its power yet comfort you in the same day.
However you want to interpret the term, remember to measure your words (as one always should). What is it you are truly trying to express? It is so much more meaningful to the recipient of the words.
It’s OK if it changes. It is supposed to change. Sometimes not the way you hope. Sometimes it goes away. Sometimes you feel like it has passed you by.
When it does feel that way, remember one always has the arms of Mother Nature to slip into, to be embraced with her warm breeze, washed with her sparkling streams and even spanked with a thorn in your foot once in a while when you need a loving reminder to pay attention. Tap into the love that is there, just perhaps in a different color or size than you were shopping for.
May you experience love every day and spread it wherever you go!