February is here, bringing cold weather (finally) and the holiday that we often have mixed feelings about — Valentine’s Day. Usually our feelings about Valentine’s Day range from dreamy romantic, when we have a partner that we love, to avoidant, when we don’t, to everything in-between. We often feel we have to have that one particular person in order to enjoy this holiday.
This year, I’d like to suggest that we expand our definition of our beloved. Let’s celebrate Valentine’s Day with everyone and everything that we love, including perhaps our children, our cats or dogs, our dear friends, our fellow yoga students, or even our favorite tree. Consider making Valentine’s Day simply a chance to commit ourselves to sending a little more love their way.
And since I’ve been in a poetry mood lately, I thought I would share a love poem that is very very dear to me. This poem was written by Gardner Brown, an eccentric Dupont Circle-area artist, who was involved in my meeting my partner, Paul. I’ll save that story for another time. One night before our wedding, Gardner came to our apartment, quite intoxicated, with this poem as a gift for us. We asked him to read it at our wedding, which he did. Later that night, he goosed my Grandma’s behind.
I think it can apply to any sort of beloved. I offer it to you, with love.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
This then the moment
In recognition of a simple truth
Abandoning higher superlatives
All private contests
Now lost or won
Leaving steadfast in that brilliant residue
The brave confession of not being able to part
Prepared in advance for
Awes and joys
Hopes and tears
All these but unruly children cavorting
Within the sanctuary
And rising far above these loyal words
Lingering beneath dreams
A final separate inquiry
Banished only by the vision
Of a far better me smiling back from behind your eyes
A fortress of safe surrender
A birthing like others
All combined to freely flow
On warmer seas of discovery
Not just of man and woman
Wife and husband
But in cleaner definition
Resolute though tender
Abundantly bathed in glistening gratitude
Profoundly respecting those countless energies
Embracing this moment
For a presentation
For those who care to see