I told my students to go find out what Valentine’s means. We are in a mythology class, where the goal is to unravel what we know and what we think we know in order to discover the roots of things. It is a meditation of sorts for me. It helps me reflect on my own beliefs and superstitions. I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean I don’t follow the rituals. There is a social expectation to be a part of the holiday–especially when you’re in a relationship. I doubt my partner is the type to question why I didn’t get her flowers, but I know she likes flowers, so why not get them–especially on this day. It won’t be roses. Today roses are reflective of an overpriced push to normalize a sense of what love is supposed to look like. Our love doesn’t look like that. Our love is a room full of daisies and me holding her in my arms.
I don’t need a specific day to show my love or to be rewarded for it. Still, the occasion–any occasion–to do so publicly cannot be ignored. Especially at this juncture in our relationship where everything whispers of what could be and what is lives in the shadows of what should be. And if you know about me you know that it is shadows that scare me the most. I fear what lives in that pool of darkness, just out of sight of my understanding, slipping further into that inky dark when I turn my eye upon it. Something always waits there, watching. Something that controls me while I have no control or understanding of it.
But today is not about that darkness. Today is about the moments of light and happiness and the glow on the faces of the ones you love when you kiss them and remind them of your feelings. Today is the day we share our hearts under the light of the sun and the moon and all the stars in the sky. Today is love writ large, no matter what beginnings brought us to this place.