Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saint Valentine's Day

I have spent a good many of my adult years without a love of my own.  But that never stopped me from embracing Saint Valentine's Day.  I fervently believe it can be enjoyed almost as much as a singleton.  It's really just about love; of someone special, of a child, a nephew or niece, or of self.  When I was unpartnered, I used Valentine's Day to pamper myself.  It was fun to have a facial or manicure even as the world was scooping up roses.  On the way home from my spa indulgence, I would stop at the village bakery famous for its confections and buy a slice of perfect chocolate layer cake, tucked safely inside a white cardboard box tied with string, a paper doily slipped beneath.  Later, I savored every decadent bite of it from my grandmother's floral china plate as I enjoyed a charming old film. 

Over the years, I began to decorate a little for Valentine's Day too.  I display a card my daughter gave me when she was five - her skeletal letters on my precious valentine, all different sizes and shapes; though the meaning is clear.  I am loved.  I place my red book of love poems on the coffee table; the one which still holds the handwritten note from a long vanished love that in the end, wasn't meant to last.   I have loved.  Also on the table rests my favorite Grace Livingston Hill book, Crimson Roses, and a vintage Modern Priscilla magazine, the valentine number from 1918.  The cover girl is clutching a letter to post to her WW I soldier.  My emblems all nestle next to a pink crystal bowl filled with rosy foil-wrapped chocolates.

Last year I taught myself to knit hearts, red of course, and those hang from fishing cord on the lampshades.  A heart shaped wreath of roses graces the front door too.  These small things would never have taken away all the sting of being alone, but I know they would have made me smile.  And perchance to dream...those, the words of Shakespeare, a man who understood something of the yearning heart.

Now I have a valentine of my own and he's no secret - just a sweet boy I knew many Saint Valentine's Days ago when we shared an English Lit class in high school.  I love again.  Neither of us is much into exchanging the sentiments found in today's modern greeting cards. But we do adore old movies...and chocolate layer cake.

I am loved
I have loved
I will love again...
Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle



  1. Thank you Gail....that makes ME happy!

  2. You have such a charming way of writing Donna, it really carries the reader along. And with a happy ending too, the best kind! I don't like to buy into the commercialisation of Valentines Day but I adore your idea of decorating for it with your precious vintage pieces and enjoying the day.

  3. So beautiful! I love that you see through the "romantic" hype, and focus just on the love. It is after all, what makes the world go round.

    And any post that quotes Dodie Smith has got to be good!