I left town on Valentine’s Day for another trip to Israel. Given the circumstances, there was no card, flowers, gift, dinner, or romance.
Before I give the wrong impression, my husband is not to blame. I am. And I have all kinds of excuses. Cards are expensive. You read them, smile and say “ohhh,” and then throw them out. So what’s the point? Flowers are beautiful, but also a waste of money. With my travel schedule, I look at them for a few days and then they die while I’m out of town. So why bother? Regarding gifts, we buy ourselves whatever we need or want throughout the year. So what’s the big deal about February 14th? As for dinner…well, as empty-nesters and travelers, we eat out plenty. And, regarding romance, isn’t being with my high school sweetheart after forty-four years romantic enough?
To the casual reader, I may sound cynical or sarcastic. Perhaps unfeeling or even clueless. Some may feel bad for me…or for my husband. But don’t. Valentine’s Day is only one day out of a year of days.
For us, love is not about “things;” it’s about feelings. I can best explain it by recalling the song we learned in ninth grade from the play, Two Gentlemen of Verona. Thurio and a soprano sang:
“Love is that you….that fills my ears….that fills my nose…that fills my heart? Love is that you…that fills the air…that fills the sky? Love is that you…speak up…speak up…don’t be so shy….”
Love is all around. For my husband and me, it can be found in everything we experience together. It can be heard. Seen. Smelled. Tasted. Felt. It permeates our relationship. Our souls. It’s not casual or cavalier. And it’s not to be taken for granted.
I’m grateful — every day — that I have him and love in my life. Whether or not I celebrate it on Valentine’s Day.