Mhm, it’s nice to cozy up in a reclining chair with a mug of warm coffee in my hands, looking at snowflakes gracefully dancing in the air. Snow has an interesting effect. At night, even if overcast, everything appears brighter. And during the day, the white embrace turns our attention inwards, illuminating and warming the inner space.
When we’re snowed in, either by nature or by overwhelming daily duties, we have a choice. We can turn on TVs and radios and computers to drown the inner call for solitude and contemplation. The cold blue tech glare eagerly permeates everything with loneliness, whether you’re by yourself or surrounded by people. You have felt it before, didn’t you? A room, full of human bodies, isolated from each other by mindless chatter. Or we can answer the soulful call, and indulge in quality time alone, follow our exquisite thoughts. As we breathe Light, Love, Life into our earthly sheaths, we begin to emanate these benevolent forces outward. We can open our eyes and see the other person for who they are. We’re able to utter words that connect us.
“The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.”
(From the collection of English nursery rhymes
Gammer Gurton’s Garland, published in 1784.)
I was compelled to delve deeper into the origins of the popular practices on February 14, better known as the Valentine’s Day. The trace leads to the 18th century England, and then brings us to the 21st century on the wings of commercialism. Well, the earliest written connection between the Feast of St. Valentine in February and the tribute to intimate coupling may be found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules (1382): “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” Some correspondences also appear in the courtly love movement in France in the early 15th century. And before that? A bunch of legends about several saints named Valentine that have nothing to do with romantic love. But the Roman festivities of Lupercalia, a fertility rite, were in the middle of February.
St. Valentine, remembered on February 14, is the patron of good health, beekeepers, and pilgrims. As the first Spring saint, he carries the keys to unlock the roots for the farmers to resume work in the fields, orchards, and vineyards. The word “valentine” comes from the Latin “valen”, which means valiant or brave. In South Slavic languages, the equivalent of Valentine can be Zdravko; the base “zdrav” means healthy.
So is “be my valentine” just another profit-driven hype of the industrial age? What makes an idea survive for a couple of centuries, plus be a consistent money-maker? It has to touch on something that resonates deep in human psyche. Something that feels vaguely familiar, but not quite identifiable by reason.
February is an odd month in the temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere: the days are perceptibly getting longer, yet, the temperatures are still low outside. We may observe Life slowly waking up from the Winter slumber. Snowdrops and primroses and crocuses push through the cold soil to smile at us. Birds and rabbits and bees begin to be active anew. Nature responds to warmth, and people respond to Light: we may feel a certain release in the Soul as the sunlight hours continue to extend.
. . .
And sometimes… we all need kind words and soulful tools to stay on the enlightened path. Catch the Soulful Sparks and receive…
- Free guided harmonious movement meditations for a more enlightened year ahead
- 20% discount on the printed edition of the Soulful Sparks Calendar 2017: Your Soul’s Companion for the Journey through the Seasons
. . .
Contemplate this week’s image and verse:
ENHANCE YOUR INTIMATE DANCE.
Give yourself and your partner a wholesome gift for this Valentine’s Day. Explore how you can harmoniously move together as a couple while at the same time honoring each other’s unique individual celestial dance.
Over to you, dear Soulful Reader:
WHAT DOES “VALENTINE” MEAN TO YOU?
Support Soulful Sparks
Your contributions are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Any amount is welcome.
Donations are safely processed via PayPal.
Soulful Sparks are part of hAmoves Eurythmy,
a division of ARINNA, INC., which will appear on your statement.