Let true love be the victor on V-day!

heart leaf valentine

heart leaf valentineDo you believe in love? Not just romantic love but love-your-neighbor love. If you do, then Valentine’s Day was made for you.

Even before I was married (when I was a “single Pringle” as my son would say), I delighted in the holiday. People in couples smiled chocolaty smiles with rosy-colored eyes. Single people seemed flirtier. I loved having a day to celebrate love.

I was always of the inkling to celebrate the way we did in grade school, passing out chocolate kisses and Valentines to the whole class. We decorated shoeboxes with too much white glue and paper doilies to act as our special mailboxes. (I have always relished getting notes which is why I so thoroughly enjoy your comments, texts and emails about this blog—thank you, treasured readers! Reading your messages is just as much fun as passing folded paper notes between class.)

We analyzed the various cards we collected. Did the Six Million Dollar Man beat Wonder Woman? Hello Kitty and Snoopy duked it out, fighting like cats and dogs.

Ways to celebrate

Not much is known about the real St. Valentine.  Whether he’s legend or fact, let’s be champions of love together on February 14.

Road rage to road sage: when you’re on the road in the frenzied moment of commute and someone does something rude (you know they will), say out loud, “I forgive you” in place of your normal curse. You still get credit even if you yell it.

Invisible love arrows of blessing: look for someone who seems worn out, discouraged or irritable, and envision them surrounded by God’s love. Think a little secret blessing for the person.

Gift of three: pick a friend (or a few!) and send them three things you appreciate about them. Make the reasons as detailed as you can. It could be something unique and quirky about their personality, or a way they make your life sweeter, such as, I appreciate your generosity in letting me sleep in a few minutes later in the morning while you go out in 10 degree weather to feed the horse and pony. Then you come in and wake me up with a cup of hot tea. (Now that is true romance to me!!)

I plan to spend the day with extra smiles for all those I see. Love is a wonderful reason for a holiday and it shouldn’t be restricted to only couples, canned romance and bought gifts. Let’s take it back for everyone, get out our glue and doilies, and get to work!

Won’t you be my Valentine?


God, the source of all love, lift up the lonely who
feel pain especially on holidays like this.
In all our relationships, help us be quick in our affections
and slow in our irritations.
Heal our hearts with your holy hand of comfort so
we walk through the world as your very own,
obvious to all by our loving actions and steadfast presence.

Tell me your thoughts!

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Is it a day you cherish or dread?

Open love letter to the people of the world

Today is Ash Wednesday and tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.

These are both important days because one is about life, death and love, and the other is about life, death and love.

Poems for Lent

As my spiritual practice for Lent this year, I will write a poem every day. Prayers and poems are good friends, sometimes one and the same. In writing poetry during Lent, I hope to grow closer to the light.

Poems as gifts

Have you already picked out something to give to your Valentine? Why not add a poem? Don’t worry about not knowing poetry. You already recognize a good poem without having to think about it or spend years working at it.

Poetry is a God-given right

The essence is in you from birth. You can refine your abilities, as a reader, writer and listener, but you already have poetry in your heart, passed down from the time you lived beneath your mother’s heart.

My poem for you today

I want you to know
I’ve had a good time here so far.
You open the door for me and
I notice your thoughtfulness.

Thank you for making this a world where doors open.

I want you to know
you belong here.
How you are and who you are matters.
Those around you today might not be the same people around you tomorrow.
Tell them today why you’re glad to see them.

Thank you for being part of this time on earth.

I want you to know
you’re not alone.
Someone else is awake at 3 a.m. You’re not alone.
Loneliness doesn’t have to be a killer.
It can be the start of a friendship
if you give it words.

Someone I didn’t know well called and asked how I was doing.
“I’m lonely,” I said.
“I’ll come over,” she said.
She brought a pizza. We became friends. We had babies.
Our babies played together. It started with saying, “I’m lonely.”

Loneliness comes to everyone. Single people
might think marriage is an answer but if you
know enough married people, you know
loneliness can live there too among the married.

Give the loneliness a place to be. Put it in words.
Put it in art. Put it in song. You can make something
out of your loneliness. Be an alchemist.

Thank you for not giving up because of
moments of loneliness. Thank you for staying.

I want you to know
your feelings have value but not always meaning.
We have times we feel abandoned and betrayed.
Go on. Don’t let pain be the end of you.
Make peace with it.
Sometimes it’s just a feeling and it doesn’t mean anything
about you.
Feelings are clouds passing by.
Some are bright, some are thunderheads.
Let them all pass by. You’re a sky, not a cloud.

Thank you for living in a world of feelings
even when they’re hard feelings.

I want you to know
there’s more to find out.
Keep looking!
Keep finding out!
Splash your face with curiosity and
wake up!
Go toward the thing that makes your heart pound.
Get to know what you fear.
Keep finding things to wonder about.

Thank you for teaching me that it’s interesting to live.

I want you to know
I appreciate you believing in me
when I didn’t believe in life.
You, the people of the world, did this for me! You gave me the sense
I was part of something important, this adventure where we pack our
bags with different items but we all have stories.

Thank you for trusting me with your real stories.

I want you to know
I notice all the big and small things you do.
You help me with my zipper when my own hands can’t do it.
You feed me when I’m hungry.
You say, “Don’t worry about your life.”
You give me a ride when it’s cold and rainy out.
You ask after me.
You know my favorite kind of donut.
You go out of your way to make sure I’m safe.
You smile.
You bring me my favorite drink, hot tea with sugar.
You are patient with children and tender with the old.
You say my name with affection.

Thank you for making my life lighter.

I want you to know
I like hearing you laugh:
children, friends over lunch in a restaurant,
people reminiscing how their loved ones were,
missing them but still
laughing because they could be so funny
about sand in the house or about the speed of the coffee maker.

Thank you for the sound of laughter. Thank you for
remembering those who have gone.

I want you to know
love still matters.
Look around. Who do you love?
Tell them. Tell them in a hundred ways.
Enjoy them! Hug them, serve them food,
forgive them, write them notes. Say,

This is what I see in you.

You try hard. You get frustrated and discouraged but you go on.
You might have times of feeling alone or in pain but go on.

Thank you, world, for going on.

Go on.
Go on.
I love you.
God bless you.

Go on.