Editorial: Celebrating love
The origins of Valentine’s Day are varied. According to one legend, an imprisoned St. Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl — possibly his jailor’s daughter — who visited him during his confinement.
Others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia, a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture. (Thanks History.com.)
Origins aside, Valentine’s Day has been celebrated since the Middle Ages as a day to honor the one we love, as has expressing love via notes, songs or poetry.
Before Shakespeare wrote “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” in the late 1500’s, the Song of Solomon was celebrating love in the Old Testament.
Many cynics deride the day as yet another “Hallmark-sponsored” day to buy “things.” Flowers. Chocolates. Cards. Jewelry. A fancy dinner date.
Luckily someone saved the little candy conversation hearts after the company nearly went out of business, so they aren’t going anywhere. Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be the same without trying to figure out what the adoring message says with the first half of it inevitably cut off.
Others who have been unlucky in love boycott or bond over their misfortune. Once again, a zoo (one of a few) has offered a Valentine’s Day special in which the disgruntled can name an insect after their ex. On Valentine’s Day the innocent insect will be fed to a resident bird or a reptile for our entertainment — a modern day miniature coliseum.
Certainly, romance is much like reaching the top of a mountain. You feel lightheaded from the height, and overwhelmed with a rush when you get there, but one misstep — and you come back to earth hard with no winged, arrow-bearing cherub in sight to rescue you.
Yet, love comes in many forms. It can be through our children, our parents, our siblings, our friends and even our pets (I’d just avoid those that eat bugs Friday).
There’s nothing wrong with celebrating love once in awhile, however it touches or has touched our lives. Certainly the whirlwind of romance is exciting, but real love doesn’t disappear with the Hallmark decorations making way for Easter eggs.
If we think of love that way, as Chet Baker once sang, “each day is Valentine’s Day.”