Even though February is the shortest month of the year, it is jam-packed with events, including Groundhog Day and Valentine’s Day. It is Black History month, as well as: American Heart Month, Canned Food Month, Grapefruit Month, and Hot Breakfast Month. Who knew a month with only 28 days could fit that all in. Danielle Dahl Everydaypower.com
Well, if you enjoy winter it’s expected to continue six more weeks according to Punxsutawney Phil. Last week the groundhog emerged from his burrow to see his shadow at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The tradition has it if the groundhog sees his shadow on the second day of February, we’re in for more winter. Oddly enough it’s suspected Groundhog Day somehow morphed from the celebration of Candlemas in Germany. Candlemas is celebrated forty days after Christmas and honors the presentation of the Christ child at the temple. The priests would distribute much needed candles hoping to provide light and warmth for the remainder of winter. From candles to hedgehog, I cannot explain. Neither can I explain the origin of another holiday quickly approaching. Some say Saint Valentine’s Day also came from another tradition-an ancient Roman ritual called Lupercalia dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture named Faunus.
The Catholic church recognizes three men named Valentine, all of which were martyred. One of the Valentine men sent a correspondence from his prison cell signed “From your Valentine.” On to the Victorians who madly embraced a Saint Valentine’s Day celebrating love and romance. The oldest written Valentine still in existence is thought to be a poem written by Charles, the Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. As for myself I prefer a celebration of love and romance and poems and cards and maybe a chocolate or two.
For years Sam and I have exchanged the usual cards, birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentines. In time I began to store them all in a wicker basket. One year I noticed he had purchased the exact same card he had chosen the year before. While he was a bit chagrinned, I was thrilled the sentiments remained the same a year later. With that I suggested rather than buy new commercial cards we would on each occasion go through the basket and pick out one we had exchanged previously. We would write a short personal note and date it. I find pleasure in reading his selection each time and commenting, “Oh look. 2008, 2011, and today.” Each year referenced brings a memory. I’m pretty sure it’s a pleasure for Sam as well since he only has to walk across the room to the wicker basket, select a card, and date it.
Another possibility during these strange and uncertain times is to make a Valentine- a little paper, a little glue, some crayons, or markers, some ribbons and stickers too. Write your own poem and be sure to date the card for future memories. Here’s a little Victorian inspiration:
Fain would I guard thee through lifes desert drear-And fling around thee love to soothe and cheer-For thee I live might I but call thee mine–I’d be for ever thy own Valentine.
I’m sending you just this love token per bearer; In high hopes you’ll prove: the fair owner and wearer.