Valentine’s Day 2019

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A few years ago, I wrote about a little boy who wrote the object of his affection a hastily scribbled note on a 3×5 card, threw it on our library table and ran away, giggling.  His aim was not terrific, and I got the note instead.  It said, ‘I love you.’  The ten-year-old girl seated next to me read the note and responded: ‘Boys are so annoying!’

And so we are.  ‘Out of the mouths of babes….’

I admire that boy, even now.  To say what you mean, in your own words, is risky.  You might be rejected, you might be misunderstood, and in to-day’s society, you might be sued.  It took courage for that kid to put his feelings into words.  I’m a little sad the girl was ungracious in her reception, but perhaps she was secretly pleased.  I’d like to think she was, because I’m an old softy.  When someone confronts you with his/her genuine feelings, there’s an expectation that you’ll respond with the same.

Valentine’s Day is upon us again.  I forgot all about it until yesterday when I received a Valentine’s card in the post, signed with name widely open to interpretation.  Not knowing who this ardent female might be, I made some inquiries, and discovered it came from the Sunday School group at the church I used to attend.  I assume everyone on the parish register received one.  Part of me wishes the ‘I love you’ that decorated the card were sincere.

I suppose Valentine’s Day is easy to forget if you aren’t in a relationship.  What puzzles me is forgetting the day when you are.  This one day is a golden opportunity to say all the things you’ve neglected to, to rejoice in the unique closeness.  Unlike marriages, many valuable relationships have no anniversary date.  Now is the time.

Celebrative relationships are not limited to people you see daily.  There is a poet on Twitter I know only by her screen name.  I think the world of her.  In 260 characters, she can paint an enthralling word image of both sides of passion.  There is a conclave of musicians and artists I follow on Instagram who have taught me much about dedication to your art, and being proud (but not prideful) that being a string-player, pianist, painter (or author!) is your day job, and not a hobby.  It’s a treasure to support such people as these!

So do please celebrate all your valuable, special relationships.  Do it to-day!

It’s 314 days until Christmas, and by then, it might be too late.

Paul TN Chapman
ptnc.books@gmail.com

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