[…] February; the month of despair,
with a skewed heart in the center.[…]
yes, February does seem like the bleakest month of the year. The feeling arises every time you see another snowfall. So help me, if I have to shovel that driveway out one more time… You may complete the sentence any way you choose. Though spring really is on its way, so it wouldn’t do to let yourself get too depressed.
How do the Irish enliven the month of February? There are no holidays to liven it up, except for Valentines Day, and the Irish love Saint Valentine, even though there were at least three saints with that name.
Legend has it that Saint Valentine was tortured and ultimately beheaded in ancient Rome because he dared to go against Caesar’s orders. Caesar believed that unmarried men made better soldiers, made it illegal for young men to marry. So, our Saint Valentine secretly performed wedding ceremonies for them. This was obviously enough to madden any ruler. Of course, none of this can be verified.
Whether or not the stories about the saint are true, on November 10 of 1836, Pope Gregory XVI gave the remains of what he said were Saint Valentines bones to the Whitefriars Church in Dublin, where they are still honored to this day. Never mind the fact that there are bones said to be Saint Valentine’s in cathedrals in London and elsewhere. He obviously is a popular saint.
Valentines Day offers a bit of springtime color to a world that is otherwise end-of-the-winter dull. It’s a life affirming day. Traditionally, a man gives the woman he loves a gift of jewelry, or a box of candy, which is all very well, but not everyone has a partner. For that reason, a woman can find the day sad. A wise person I once knew said that the Golden Rule; Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, should be turned around where women are concerned. Too many women treat themselves as though they do not count in the great scheme of things. For them the rule should be; Do unto yourself as you would do for others. Take care of yourself, and find ways to make the day special, even if you are alone. You deserve the best.
May you always have walls for the wind,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire.