Around the Bluhmin’ Town
The Day of Love. Roses. Candy. Champagne. Cards. And all things the color red. Are you ready? Because Valentine’s Day is upon us. It might even be more special than a Super Bowl. The “most romantic month of the year” got started in the Fifth century as a pagan holiday.
It started in Rome as a mid-February festival, as an ode to the God of Fertility. Then the cruel Claudius II became emperor and the party stopped. He believed that love and marriage weakened men (sadly, my husband agrees). So, to keep soldiers strong, he banned marriage.
A bishop named Valentine, saw the trauma that was done to young lovers, and met couples in secret places and joined them in the sacrament of matrimony. When the evil Claudius learned of this, he labeled Valentine a “friend of lovers” and had him arrested. Unless Valentine agreed to worship the Roman Gods and stop marrying young couples, he would be executed. Valentine was a man of conviction and would not be swayed by the mad emperor.
While Valentine was in jail awaiting his fate, he fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, Asterius. Just before Valentine was executed, he wrote a love-letter to Asterius and signed it, “Be mine . . your Valentine.” It is true love and passion that brings us to this present-day cultural phenomenon of Valentine’s Day. Bishop Valentine died because he believed in love. Legend has it that he wrote love letters in his own blood and wore a red scarf to his execution.
Love surrounds us. At a garage sale I spotted a beautiful lace glove that was lying on a table. I picked it up and an elderly lady came and gently took it out of my hands. “This is mine,” she said sweetly. Then she scolded her daughter for putting it up for sale. The lady told me that her husband placed a bunch of flowers inside this glove when they got married fifty years ago. “I still remember that moment,” she sighed. Love lives in those tender gestures.
Valentine’s Day. Love. It’s not the candy, but the sweetness of romance that we celebrate. It is the joy of the children in classrooms, who have teachers helping them make special cards and red construction paper hearts to take home to their parents. Why not wear red – that brazen flash of color that “shouts” out that our love will not be secret or go unnoticed. And let’s not overlook the power of a small, lace glove.
This week, call an old friend. Hug your children. Hold hands with someone that you care about. Be bold, like the color red, in your expression of love. Hold on tightly to a cherished memory. Share a smile with a stranger, a lingering kiss with your spouse, go dancing, sip some bubbly, give flowers, wear a red scarf and enjoy chocolate. Dear Readers, be courageous and write someone a love note and sign it with the most famous and romantic phrases of all time,
“Be Mine . . Your Valentine.”
Judy Bluhm is a writer and local realtor. Have a story? Contact Judy at [email protected] or at www.aroundthebluhmintown.com.
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