As a small child my first exposure to Valentine’s Day was a big giant pink Hello Kitty basket I received as a gift. At school we would make little valentines cards for each other and eat those little pastel heart shaped candies with “be mine” and “love” on the top. Even as an adult Valentine’s Day had superimposed itself over my childhood experiences in a much grander fashion.
I love orchids and chocolates, but there had to be more to it than that!
I never felt motivated to investigate it any further, but one day while reading a book called Living Yoga I came upon a possible answer…
Valentine was actually St. Valentine, a martyr who died for his beliefs. As a priest, he had freely offered compassion to martyrs being persecuted. It was the author’s belief that the things to celebrate on Valentine’s Day are actually compassion and gratitude.
I’ve since studied more about Valentine’s Day. There is much folklore out there, but the belief that has resonated most with me is that the true meaning of Valentine’s Day is a celebration of compassion and gratitude. That’s led me to see that Valentine’s Day happens throughout the year, and all throughout every day. It’s in that spirit I’ve been celebrating that day myself for a decade now.
Happy Valentine’s Day!