Small Town Simple

The Simplicity Adventures of a Mother and Daughter

St. Valentine

St. ValentineFebruary 14th is a day that we, with a little extra effort, demonstrate our love.  I daresay that most of us are expressing our love most every day but Valentine’s Day is when we can get a little carried away.  We can wear our red, we can give or receive flowers, maybe a box of chocolates will find its way to our tabletop, or a thoughtful card drops into our mailbox.  And sometimes, Valentine’s Day is a reminder that we have loved and lost, or that one special someone has just not found his or her way to our heart.  So for some, the day can be poignantly sad.   But there are lots of ways to give, and therefore receive, love.

But maybe knowing the story behind Valentine’s Day, or one of them and my favorite, will give you a new perspective on the day and find confidence in sharing your love in oh so many ways.  Our story is set in the 3rd century AD during the reign of Claudius II during the Roman Empire.  The empire was stressed a bit at this point in time and the Emperor Claudius believed that his needed soldiers actually made better soldiers as unmarried men.  Shall we say…they weren’t distracted.  This is an idea that has been utilized before in history. Claudius deemed it necessary to ban marriage among young people so he might have his unmarried military.  This did not set well with a particular priest within the Christian church.  His name?  Valentinus (Valentine).  He believed marriage was a sacrament from God and therefore should not be banned by the emperor.  Valentine began performing marriages secretly.  Of course, he was eventually found out and was imprisoned, persecuted and finally executed.  Approximately 2 centuries later Valentine was made a saint and Feb. 14 was the day chosen to celebrate him.

So how do we combine the beautiful love and tragedy of St. Valentine with our present culture of outwardly demonstrating our love for the special people in our lives?  We broaden that circle of people.  They don’t all have to be “special ” but we can certainly make them feel special.

  • slow down and look around – can you catch a door for someone? Help a young mother with her hands full with her little ones and her bags?  Or assist an elderly person get across a parking lot?  And once done – give them a beautiful smile!
  • Is there a way to provide a little extra relief for your child’s teacher?  As a former high school teacher we didn’t get the same parental attention that is provided to the younger grades.  But I can say that when another teacher declared he was going to make some copies for class and did I have anything that needed copying?  Oh, what a gift!  Everyday was Valentine’s Day when that happened.
  • Make (or buy) a sweet treat for you and your co-workers to share.  I love to bake and will periodically make a treat to share with the wonderful people I work with.  Now they put in their orders!
  • Reach out to someone you’ve not seen or spoken to in a while.
  • Mail a Valentine to someone that you know has difficulty getting out and about.

While none of these actions replace the beautiful roses or the romantic dinner for two, they are still wonderful ways to connect with humanity, to feel and know that we are all part of something bigger than just ourselves.  Maybe St. Valentine would approve.

xo, Carolyn

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