Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentines





















Image: John James Audubon

Years ago, on a day near Spring,
the world came to life.

Music was found in every bush
and near every stream.

The composers played not instruments,
nor did they have hands, nor lips.

Yet the music played on,
and many melodies mixed.

The suitors chose their lovers,
and the lovers gave them
their hearts.

On the couples sang,
and the melodies took new form:

No longer were they solo,
but now duet.

As the daylight grew dim,
the songs broke off,

And all the wood birds were silent.

© 1984-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
Written for a 10th grade 'Humanities Class' assignment

Note: Valentine's Day - like many of the holidays celebrated in modern times - appears to have its ancient origins in practices intended to honor Nature.  In the case of Valentine's Day, fertility and abundance would have been the likely themes. It wasn't until the end of the 5th century that Pope Gelasius outlawed the Nature-based traditions (probably related to Lupercalia festivities) and declared February 14th to be 'St. Valentine's Day.' The Middle Ages mark the beginning of 'love' as a focus of the holiday. At that time, it was commonly believed in England and France that February 14 indicated the start of the breeding season for birds - and thus the date became associated with romance. The first written Valentines didn't begin to appear until 1400AD.

So, whether of not you have a certain someone in your life to celebrate love/romance with on Valentine's Day, we can all take a moment to honor that one relationship that sustains us throughout our lives...Nature's gift of abundance.  Consider putting a little something special out as a reciprocal offering to the birds...

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