Monday, February 14, 2011

Love is in the Air...

Whenever Valentine's Day rolls around it's hard not to hearken back to the days when whether or not I had a Valentine was a very big deal. Back in high school, the day was synonymous with the distribution of carnations in homeroom. Carnation Day was the brainchild, of cheerleaders and anyone else in high school whose birthright was a gorgeous loving Valentine every year. It was a perfect event, humiliation in disguise of a fundraiser.

Right after the morning announcements a bundle of carnations would arrive for the teacher to distribute. While there were always more than enough to go around, that's not how it played out, like most distribution in a free market, the most carnations went to the fewest girls.

While the sentiment of Valentine's Day is pure, the execution of it is more about showing the world how much you are loved than actually expressing or feeling it. Walking the halls in high school with no carnations felt like a statement of worthiness.

The acknowledgement of being loved is a wonderful thing and almost as valuable as demonstrating your love to others but love is not something that can be felt from a box of candy, a carnation or a diamond necklace. And love doesn't always come in the form of the captain of the high school football team, sometimes the carnation comes from the quiet guy who eats alone in the cafeteria.

This sounds fundamental and yet, it took me many years to understand it.
As I approach fifty I feel the force of love in small things and in the ways my friends and family care for me and hold my best interests in their heart. Instead of believing that love is something you earn or deserve, I understand that it is like air, there for the taking if you just open up and breathe it in.

If you believe you are loved, you are.

While it would have been nice to have gotten dozens of carnations on carnation day, in the cosmic universe of love we are drowning in them.

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