Monday, February 13, 2012

Love Is More Than A Box Of Chocolates

WHEN WINDOW shopping in Kitsilano recently, signs of a special day could not be ignored. The morphing of saints, mythological gods, romance and marketing were everywhere. February is the month when thoughts of love are punctuated by Valentine’s Day celebrated on the 14th of February.

Saint Valentine was a martyred priest in Rome who some legends say performed secret weddings for soldiers banned from marrying the young women they were engaged to during wartime. He would be shocked to know balloon bouquets, cupids, paper hearts, flowers and millions of boxes of chocolates are sold in his name.

Despite modern distortions, our affections have always run deep and gone beyond feelings for a partner or spouse. There is a parent’s love for a child and love for friends and even for pets. There is love of art and the beauty we see in symmetry and in nature. Sometimes it is easier to love than to be loved. Sometimes we need to love ourselves.

I am up in the air about love sometimes. There is love of money and possessions. There is love of God and country. There is love of a good joke or well-made strawberry shortcake. Love can be twisted. Love can be blind. Some who love from afar are unkind to those who are near. And it seems clear that those who love everyone can love no one in particular. Love can happen like a simple song or be complicated and hard won. Love can be boastful and glad. Unattainable love can make us feel sad, crumpled and teary-eyed. And the purest love, with no strings attached, never dies.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

14 comments:

  1. What a wonderful post. It is amazing how valentine's day has evolved into a consumer day. Of course that's true of Christmas and other days too. My mother always said that Hallmark invented Mother's Day and she was fine sticking with her birthday as her special day.

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  2. Do you think St. Valentine would shop at Walmart? Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  3. A beautiful post indeed! And such a great look at the holiday, that, as Carver, has written, has been blown out of proportion just as other holidays have by those looking to lure consumers. But it's still a fun, colorful one! Hope you have a very Happy Valentine's Day and a beautiful week!

    Sylvia

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  4. One of the best "holidays" for a booming business.

    Yet, love conquers all!

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  5. Great post. I would hope Saint Valentine would be honored and not shocked. I really love the last line of your post and I also hope that pure love is not rare. Happy Valentine's Day!

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  6. Fun shot, and I like the poem in the last paragraph.

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  7. What a wonderful post you wrote today. Been missing your blogs lately. This is the first I have seen published since a week ago and I see a new one below this one. I will go and check it out.

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  8. Well said, my dear friend, very well said.
    Luv, K

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  9. Such a thoughtful post - and so true.

    The over-commercialism of Valentine's Day raises people's expectations to silly levels...

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  10. Great balloons - so festive! Your info about Valentine confuses me - I I'll look it up again in Wikipedia/Google:)

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  11. A lovely, thoughtful post for Saint Valentine. I'm sure he would approve.

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  12. Hi Emille, thanks for pointing out some confusion in the wording about Saint Valentine. I guessed at where you meant and made a slight change. :) The legend itself may have some small grain of historical truth. But it is likely more fiction than fact as are many myths from the murky past that evolved into commercial events.

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  13. Hi Penelope,

    That colourful photograph is great fun, while at the same time, symbolizing your "up in the air" feelings about the commercial aspects and false expectations attached to this day. As so often happens, I found myself nodding in agreement as I read your words. You also inspired me to check out Chaucer's poem, The Parliament of Fowls, that, along with information about Otto de Granson found on this page is supposed to be the earliest record of our present day meaning to Valentine's Day. Thanks for another thoughtful and beautifully written post!

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  14. Penelope, you often make me stop and think. I’m also sometimes up in the air about love. Love can make people happy, sad, crazy, and mad, and I don’t like possessive love. This is clear: I’m thankful to those who make me feel loved.

    On Valentine’s Day in Japan, women customarily give chocolates to men, out of love, out of friendliness, or out of duty. At companies some female workers feel bitter to make their bosses sweeter. I like it when my daughter bakes sweets as a present and the sweet fragrance fills the air.

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