Now, I’m a romantic, I love candy and flowers as much as the next gal. I do believe that given a greeting card has surpassed the $5.00 mark that perhaps the commercialism has gotten a tad out of control. Besides, I like to be treated as though every day is Valentine’s Day. It is after all the sentiment behind the gift that counts.
That being said, I think it is a good day to remember our love in whatever form it takes. Men sometimes need a push to be romantic- sometimes not, so don’t get in a huff- but if they are not normally romantic perhaps after years of practicing, if only one day a year, they will eventually get the hint.
It is said, that along with being a Christian Martyr, St Valentine performed weddings for those couples that could not be married in the church. While he was in prison he healed his jailor’s daughter and before he died he sent a note signed, Your Valentine. Sweet, perhaps, but how did we get from there to here.
It wasn’t until the 14th century that courtly love became prevalent and Valentine’s Day was recognized as a time for romantic love. By the 18th century gifts were regularly exchanged. A popular custom was the giving of keys as a symbol of unlocking the heart of your beloved.
In Wales, they have created a similar day: St Dwynwen’s Day celebrates true love on January 25. Again, the legend is murky. Dwynwen falls in love with a handsome young man named, Maelon, but rejects his advances. Her father will not allow the marriage so she prays to forget he ever existed. An angel turns Maelon into a block of ice. Dwynwen is devastated and prays again asking for three things: that Maelon be thawed, that she, through God will be the patron saint of all true loves; and that she never marry. She then retreats to the west coast of Anglesey to set up a convent.
There are some remnants there today, along with a cross erected by Queen Victoria and a well that lovers visit every year. It is said that if the fish appear when you are standing there, it is true love. Traditionally Welsh love Spoons are given as a gift.
Whichever country I spend Valentine’s Day in you can be sure will be making a big deal out of the holidays. After all, romance writers and comedians come up with scores of great materials from one day out of the year, so, if nothing else, I can look at it as research.
Times are difficult for many right now and the world is in a spin, I propose another holiday: Love your Neighbor day or some facsimile thereof. Perhaps it sounds naïve, but it would make the world a much better place if we could just try to get along.
It started in school, the damn Valentine box attached to your desk, some got many others only a few. Prejudice based on the things that only a young child would understand. Gone are those days, so don’t be afraid to let someone know you care. Whether you receive few or many, my wishes are for you to enjoy the day with someone that you love, in whatever form it takes.