Sunday, February 14, 2010

Is love a fancy, or a feeling? No.
It is immortal as immaculate Truth,
'Tis not a blossom shed as soon as youth,
Drops from the stem of life--for it will grow,
In barren regions, where no waters flow,
Nor rays of promise cheats the pensive gloom.
A darkling fire, faint hovering o'er a tomb,
That but itself and darkness nought doth show,
It is my love's being yet it cannot die,
Nor will it change, though all be changed beside;
Though fairest beauty be no longer fair,
Though vows be false, and faith itself deny,
Though sharp enjoyment be a suicide,
And hope a spectre in a ruin bare.
--Hartley Coleridge

I would consider myself and absolute failure if I lacked the time to spend a bit of time musing on the concept of love especially on this Valentine's Day. Love is a thought and feeling that most every girl or guy needs in his life. Valentine's Day is often that day where one can feel the most lonely or forgotten. It's the day of love. Therefore, couples romantically rush into each other's arms and smother each other in kisses and the rest of us stand and gaze wistfully or turn away repulsed.

Throughout high school, the day of love never ceased to make me feel more alone than ever before. I had bought into the idea that Valentine's Day was only for lovers and if you didn't have one that you were out. I believed it. When Valentine's Day came around I would be one of those mopey singles that should have been mopped of the floor. Yet, one year, something happened. It snowed. It snowed and it snowed. On Valentine’s Day, we found ourselves snowed in without school and without the commercial version of the day of love creeping in upon us. As usual my mother sent us children out to clear not only our driveway but the driveways of some of our elderly neighbors. While we shoveled, I continued to grovel a bit and be depressed. I can put it down to nothing but God because as I physically exerted myself, He was loving on me.

My home street has a lot of people that are old living on it. I had noticed that at one particular house a quaint little old lady lived there alone. Since my siblings and I felt motivated to shovel, I thought to myself what is one more driveway after we had already completed three. We shouldered our shovels and trekked to her house to do her driveway. I thought that we might get away without anyone being the wiser of what had occurred at her unshoveled snowy driveway. Yet, as we finished the last shovel stroke, the door swung open and our tiny frail neighbor stood before us. The sweetheart offered us money. I being the eldest became the automatic spokesperson. Quietly, I explained that we just wanted to shovel her driveway for her and we wanted nothing. She begged to pay us and I simply said, “Happy Valentine’s Day. Consider this a gift of love.”

From that moment on, my idea of Valentine’s Day has completely and totally changed. No longer do I see Valentine’s Day as a day only for those who find themselves love-sick. It is a day of love. This idea of love comes in many ways. After all, there is brotherly love, neighborly love, self love, and others besides just romantic love. I choose to focus and the loves that I already have in my life. No longer do I wonder “is there something wrong with me that I am still single?” I ask myself, “It’s Valentine’s Day. How can I extend love to the people in my life?” Oh, I can join in the rant about Valentine’s Day with the best of them, but I find that I am less and less inclined to do so because I would prefer to share the love of God that has completely and totally filled my life.

And so this afternoon, you will find me a group of lovely girls painting fingernails, watching a romantic chic flick in honor of Valentine’s Day, making cookies, and being reminded about the love that we have for each other. Then later on, our guy friends who have become like brothers shall join us for some games and some eating of cookies because where would we be without those guys who feel share some of our same wishful dreaming of love. We girls are not the only ones that are pressured by the Valentine’s ideal.