B enjamin serenading a little girl in a Lao, Black-Hmong village.
When I was a little girl, I always looked forward to Valentine’s Day. It was the day when everyone would pass out valentines and hershey’s chocolate kisses to everyone else. The whole week before we would spend time constructing little mailboxes that we would stick on our desks. The teacher would tell us, yet again, the origins of Valentine’s day and who St. Valentine was. We’d spend the day reading what people wrote us and cutting red hearts with lace out of construction paper.
St. Valentine is one of the martyr saints in the Christian religion. He was persecuted by Emperor Claudius for illegally marrying christian couples. The holiday is meant to celebrate love, and somehow it’s turned into the bonanza you see in tv shows, and malls today.
As you get older, Valentine’s Day seems to lose its significance. Though I’m sure Benjamin and I will do something lovely, and I’ll probably bake some shortbread cookies shaped in hearts with red sprinkles, I have to spend my day studying for midterms. None the less! This valentine’s day, whether you’re Christian or not and whether you recognize Valentine’s Day or not… tell those you care about that you love them. Call your friend who you’ve fallen out of touch with, or your mother who you haven’t seen in awhile. Give a hug to your little sister or a kiss to your dog. While Valentine’s Day has often been made into a holiday for marketing, I still think that we can bring it down to the basics, being love and care for one another.
Until next time,
PS: If you’re interested in learning more about St. Valentine check out this article from Time magazine:
Travel Photography by AndElsewhere is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.