So much I want to say, this being such a contradictory holiday ... the commercialization, the treacle factor in the Hallmark cards, the worn-out cliches and heart-shaped chocolate boxes and toxic roses ...
but underneath it all I am still that kindergartener excited for her first school sponsored Valentine's celebration with construction paper hearts and puppies with butterflies cards. (who would have believed the shlock of my childhood would be preferable to the cheapo Sponge Bob and Minecraft cards popular today?)
Rather than dwell upon the forelorn and crash aspects of this day, I choose to infuse this holiday with deeper meaning. I choose to celebrate the joy of love, the pleasures of sharing my heart with another, and the honor of receiving expressions of love crafted by small hands and eager hearts.
I choose to embrace the honest and simple, the expressions of love given with a heart thumping with excitement and anticipation. I will gleefully (and shamelessly) receive the unimaginative and but appreciated (and soon-to-be-devoured) box of chocolates, understanding that each indulgent bite is a wish from my beloved that I remember myself as sweet and rich, my life as bountiful and as varied as an assortment of confections. (dare I go there? I dare! in honor of the day - "life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." So true Forrest, so true. Except I take small nibbles and if I don't like what I pick, I select another chocolate!)
It is a matter of choosing, enjoying, and yes ... sharing in that sweetness.
And if I could have sent out Valentines to all, I would want mine to convey something along the lines of this:
Pocket Poem by Ted Kooser
If this comes creased and creased again and soiled
as if I'd opened it a thousand times
to see if what I'd written here was right,
it's all because I looked too long for you
to put it in your pocket. Midnight says
the little gifts of loneliness come wrapped
by nervous fingers. What I wanted this
to say was that I want to be so close
that when you find it, it is warm from me.
May your Valentine's Day be filled with the love of sunshine, birdsong, or snowflake blessings and the delight of discovering heartshaped leaves tumbling across your path.
HeartFull Living begins on Monday but there are special Valentine's treats awaiting all who gather in that space. There is still time to sign-up ... all the gooey details are here.