For all you romantics, tomorrow is Valentine's Day!
I remember when I was in elementary school, we made Valentines for every member of the class, and at lunch time, along with heart-shaped cookies and punch, we exchanged them, putting them in our handmade, red construction paper files. We decorated these files as we wished, with cut-out hearts and rick-rack, filled them with the cards, and took them home to enjoy. There were always the tiny heart candies with stamped messages. We would giggle at recieving them. The teacher made sure it was all fun and fair, and I recall the event with delight.
Of course, later on, Valentine's Day gets more complicated, with the fear of sending a card to a person in friendship, and having it misinterpreted, or planning a special occasion for one's true love who all but forgets the day, and not getting a card or gift at all. Ah...the possibility of the broken heart. These days, I throw caustion to the wind, and send cards to friends and family that I hold dear. The joy is in the doing.
But I do love the idea of Love in all its Splendor. I found a beautiful poem written by John Gay, an English poet (1685-1731) about a sailor away from home. It's called Sweet William's Farewell to Black-eyed Susan. It's sentiment is so lovely:
Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind:
They'll tell thee, sailors when away
In ev'ry port a mistress find.
Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so,
For thou art present whereso'er I go."
Doesn't that deserve a sigh! By the way, John Gay was the man who wrote The Beggar's Opera, a comedy and political satire, a "ballad" opera, in which songs are song to advance the story, but there are no recitatives (or spoken parts). The Beggar's Opera is a three act play, written in 1728, and involves the lives of a group of thieves and prostitutes in 18th Century London. See Hogarth's painting of the opera at right above.
I send my readers my very best wishes for a lovely Valentine's Day, whatever you plan, or better yet, be surprised with. I send a special hug and kiss to my daughter and her husband, who, a couple years ago, enjoyed a special and private wedding on Valentine's Day, just for themselves. Now, that's romantic!