Valentines day comes with mixed emotions for me. It used to be my favourite holiday as a teen. The cheesy mushiness of it mixed with pink and reds was my optimal experience. Plus, it involved happy, innocent crushes and wonderful gifts. I had a protected princess sort of experience in most of my teen hood...and whenever I didn't, I created imaginations in my mind. My inner character is sort of similar to Sara, the main character in the book 'A Little Princess' though I am not as kind. I often imagined the way I wanted life to go and if it was awful, I pretended most of it away. In sensory experiences, I made up a different scenario in my mind. Life was magical because I wished it to be in most regards.
As I grew up and have spent almost fourteen years in a marriage, I have realized that love comes in many stages. There have been Valentines that have broken my heart or when my husband and I had only feelings of apathy towards each other, but there have also been breathless highs full of euphoria and bliss together.
We don't usually plan for Valentines anymore and if we do something, we usually throw it together last minute. Not because we don't celebrate love, but because, to us, love is in the ordinary, and we try to celebrate it every day.
There are many forms of love. Thus, I wanted to list a few of my loves to hopefully inspire lists of your own, to view life in gratitude, even if tomorrow is spent alone or unmarked. I am picking 32 simply because that is the amount of time I have been alive...I think...(maybe I am 33...I will have to call my mother.)
32 VALENTINES of LOVE: A List of Soulful Beauty
2. Books. Glossy covered, worn paperback, tattered and cornered. A symbol of wisdom.
3. Words. Saturating our being. I have a ebullience for eloquence. A dalliance everyday into the assemblage of dulcet lyricism.
4. Petrichor. The smell of the earth after rain.
5. Garlic. A heady fragrance of vitality and bursting taste.
6. Colour. Aureolin, Azure, Lavender, Burgandy, Capri, Cerulean Blue, Chartreuse Yellow, Chocolate brown, Classic Rose, Ecru, Gray, Harvest Gold, Indigo, Jade, Magenta, Onyx, Razzmatazz, Saffron, Slate blue, Tea Green, Vanilla, Cinnamon red, and deep purple... the sex of the eyes.
7. Song. ' Here comes the Sun' through the Music. 'Footloose' and ' Fishin' in the Dark' these songs are 'Taking a chance on love' with ' Toxic' 'Fireworks.' 'I can't help Falling in Love' with 'Blue Skies' and ' 'Silly Love songs'. 'What a wonderful World' with an "Orange Coloured Sky' and a ' Total eclipse of the Heart'.' Please Don't stop the Music.' ' Enter Sandman.' With ' Sweet Dreams' the music of life echoes Journey's refrain; 'Don't stop believing.' (Yea I realized I am being completely cheesy making up sentences with song titles...I wish I could go on because I have at least a few hundred favourite songs. Songs change my essence while keeping my self grounded.)
8. Down filled blankets on top of Egyptian cotton sheets. Pure ecstasy.
9. Sounds of friendship. Laughter bubbling from the next table, quiet introspection of a comfortable union, chatty excitement, awkward new beginnings and the solace of wiping the tears.
10. Yugort oat muffins with peanut butter and jelly. Pickled preserves and deep rooted beets. Cheese and fruit. Salted dark chocolate. Light Curry and Basmati rice. Smoothies and salted popcorn.
11. The pop of kindling under the reds and oranges of fire. Add an Inglenook. (A cozy nook by the hearth.)
12. Muscles burning from a successful work out/ or making love. You pick.
13. The largest working organ in the body. Full of supple squishy reds and zipping neurones. (A healthy brain.)
14. Psychologists and self help articles or personality discoveries. Unlocking the keys to the brain and life in general.
15. Eye kohl. Even the name invokes mystery and enhancement.
16. Paper. Feathery, crumpled, fresh or stained with time.
17. Hands. Oh the things we can do.
18. Vitamin D. A substitute for sunshine. Loving those happy thoughts.
19. Water. Trickling, Susurrous, rippling, murmurous, labyrinthine, effervescent, desultory, stagnant, fresh, twinkling, murky or dripping.
20. Laughter. At yourself is the best kind.
21. Creating. From the perfect sandwich to the Mona Lisa. Just do it.
22. Films. From Audrey exploring Rome on a Holiday to Robert Downey Jr. re- creating the moment in 'Only You'. From 'Singing in the Rain' to quippy lines in the 'Philadelphia Story'...'P.S I love you' and woah 'Pretty Woman' or 'Little Women' or perhaps 'Oceans Twelve' or 'Bourne'. Each weaves a tale of delight.
23. Hope and Imagination. Because life CAN get better, even if it is just in your imagination. There is wonder. Spin in your own creations. Defy expectations. Defy gravity. Be who you need to be. Say what you need to say.
24. Chocolate melting on the tongue.
25. Children twirling in the moment.
26. Lists. Chore Lists and Gratitude Lists and Life Love Lists...and lists to make to break.
27. Pinterest. The world's collective creativity along with your own sparkling individuality. Pin to create. Pin to find yourself. Pin to feast your eyes starvingly upon the world's beauty or all that is good.
28. Sensuality. "Are you captivated by the breeze from the subway; the luscious whipped cream on your latte, and the velvety texture of your favourite jacket? Sensuality is the ability to enjoy- even more, to luxuriate in- the tantalizing vibes from all of the senses."
29. Fabrics. Damask to Chenille to Wool to Plaid throws...delight in your cozy clothes or burrow into your blankets and pillows.
30. Innocence. Children laughing, savouring a simple moment with simple honesty, allowing the door to open to a moment of connective beauty. I am not speaking of chastity or purity but perhaps more of a childlike pondering of the world. Unlearn some of the crap you have taken in.
31. Boundaries. The type from Henry Cloud's Necessary Endings.
32. Weather. Drizzled rain, frosty cold, foggy melancholy, sunny bursts, and windy songs.
Bonus 33. Decor. Colour and dazzle the home or comfort and cocoon it. Surround yourself with only things you believe to be useful or beautiful. Do not care what others think of your home or decor but do what you love because your life and home should be a reflection of who you are, what makes you beautiful and happy, and infused with love.
My Husband is my first love. "Day after day, I must face a world of strangers, where I don’t belong, I’m not that strong. It’s nice to know that there’s someone I can turn to who will always care, you’re always there. When there's no getting over that rainbow. And my smallest of dreams won't come true. I can take all the madness the world has to give but I won't last a day without you...Touch me and I end up singing, troubles seem to up and disappear. Touch me with the love your bringing. I can't really lose when your near my love...one look at you and i know that I can learn to live without the rest, I've found the best."*
My husband has helped carve out a home on this alien planet for me. He taught me that I should not be convincing anyone other than myself that I am fabulous. My compliments often sound like insults but he belly laughs anyway and I feel less alone. He doesn't often take offense because he knows often I do not mean offense. When it's 3 a.m. and my insomnia is out of hand and I start to feel panicky he hears my voice whimper, "Could you please hold me?" His snores stop and he re- adjusts his body to fit mine, tucking his arm around my chest and murmuring in my ear, "Go to sleep Baby. I'm here." It doesn't matter how tired he is or comfortable, he turns. We found love right where we are.
I watch those adorable smile crinkles deepen and hear his hearty laugh. The misunderstood places in my heart whoosh away with the sound of his voice. We are together yet separate on this journey but I could not have found a better travelling companion. I adore him even when I hate him. And I do hate him sometimes...part of being so passionate I suppose. No one else comes close. My husband is talented, wise, strong, peaceful, loving, gentle, kind, humorous, smart, genuine, and full of heart. If even a few see the beauty of his soul like I do, they would feel sunshine and gratitude. Happy Valentines Day my Love! ( Because tomorrow we will be busy even if it is just building our fireplace mantel and staying in our sweatpants:) Darling, I will love you way past seventy...hopefully we live a little longer.
To the rest of you readers...no matter how you spend your days, try to remember the ever green of your soul. That you are worthy of love because you exist. Life is short and long at once. Perhaps with the acknowledgement of love, ordinary moments and blissful imagination, we can make the short days longer and the long days more bearable. Happy Valentines. Find love right where you are.
Songs: Thinking out Loud- Ed Sheeran, *Won't last a Day without You- Keren Carpenter, Golden Leaves- Passenger, Once in a Lifetime- Michael Bolton
Side Note: As an early Valentines day surprise my husband travelled to the city and brought me home this!: