Let Us Sing Together The Song
"O beloved, let us sing together the song of joy,
for the night has gone and dawn has come once again.
Everywhere, within and without, the beautiful gardens blossom with fragrant flowers.
In every place my steadfast mind is taking care.
There is no fear of the darkness,
so lets sing the song of joy in the enchanting garden."
"May You Always Feel Loved"
May you find serenity and tranquility
in a world you may not always understand.
May the pain you have known
and the conflict you have experienced
give you the strength to walk through life
facing each new situation with courage and optimism.
Always know that there are those whose love
and understanding will always be there,
even when you feel most alone.
May you discover enough goodness in others
to believe in a world of peace.
May a kind word, a reassuring touch,
a warm smile be yours every day of your life,
and may you give these gifts as well as receive them.
Remember the sunshine
when the storm seems unending.
Teach love to those who know hate,
and let that love embrace you
as you go into the world.
May the teaching of those you admire
become part of you,
so that you may call upon them.
Remember, those whose lives you have touched
and who have touched yours
are always a part of you, even if the encounters
were less than you would have wished
It is the content of the encounter
that is more important than its' form.
May you not become too concerned with material matters,
but instead place immeasurable value
on the goodness in your heart.
Find time in each day to see the beauty
and love in the world around you.
Realize that each person has limitless abilities,
but each of us is different in our own way.
What you may feel you lack in one regard
may be more than compensated for in another
What you feel you lack in the present
may become one of your strengths in the future.
May you see your future
as one filled with promise and possibility.
Learn to view everything as a worthwhile experience.
May you find enough inner strength
to determine your own worth by yourself,
and not be dependent on another's judgements
of your accomplishments.
May you always feel loved
~Sandra Sturtz Hauss
Ah, Valentine's Day - the day we've set aside to celebrate love. The origin of this celebration is shrouded in mystery, but probably goes back to the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia. In it's early days, Romans, who were then mostly shepherd folk, called upon their god, Lupercus, to keep them and their flocks safe from the great packs of wolves that roamed in the vast wilderness that surrounded them. A spring festival to honor Lupercus was held each February 15th. (The calendar used at the time had February falling in the springtime)
The wolf figures quite prominently in early Roman history. The name of the festival, and the God it honors, comes from the latin word for wolf, lupus Legend has it that the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, were nursed by a mother wolf.
One of the customs of Lupercalia was name-drawing. On the eve of the festival, February 14th, the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man drew a slip. The girl whose name was chosen was to be his sweetheart for the year. It is also said that during that time, the young man wore the girl's name on his sleeve, and the phrase 'wearing your heart on your sleeve' may come from this practice.
Another reported ritual involved young noble men running through the streets of Rome carrying goatskin thongs called februa (from a latin word meaning 'to purify'). Young women would crowd the streets in hopes of being lashed by the thongs because it was believed it made them better able to bear children. According to legend, the month of February gets it's name from this practice.
Lupercalia was celebrated long after Rome went from a countryside of shepherds to a powerful empire, and when the armies of Rome invaded France and Britain, they took their customs with them. But the name changed along the way.
It is believed the current name for this celebration honors a Roman priest named Valentine, who defied Emperor Claudius II's orders and continued to marry couples secretly. It seems the Emperor believed married men would want to stay home with their wives rather than go off to war and so forbade potential soldiers to marry.
Valentine was eventually caught and sentenced to death. While in prison, legend has it that he was frequently visited by the jailer's daughter, whom he fell in love with. Before his death, he allegedly wrote her a letter, signing it 'From your Valentine' , a phrase still used today.
Valentine was beheaded on February 14th, the eve of Lupercalia. After his death, Valentine was named a saint by the Catholic Church, and as Rome became more Christian, the priests moved the spring holiday from the 15th of February to the 14th - and now the holiday honored Saint Valentine instead of Lupercus. As nearly all holidays celebrated today, Valentines Day is a blend of pagan and Christian lore woven together through time.
And so, today, we set aside a day to honor love. But in truth, love is the mover and shaper of all our days. Everything we do, everything we are, is a result of the love we give and receive or the result of the love we deny or have been denied. Our natural state of being is love and when we express who we are freely, our lives are filled with joy. When love is denied, that joy is replaced with pain and suffering and every definition of evil. It's a lovely thing to set aside a day to honor love...but unless all our days are filled with it, life is devoid of meaning. Satin hearts filled with chocolate are no substitute for a loving heart filled with warmth, compassion and care. So, by all means, celebrate love today with those you love. But more importantly, celebrate it every day. Honor it every day. BE it every day. Find more and more recipients to share it with until you can honestly say there are none in this world you cannot share it with. Then, as Teilhard de Chardin said, " ... after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and, for a second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire."
The following links will take you to some of my favorite stories, quotes and poems about love. The first is a link to my 2003 Valentine's Day page, when in the midst of celebrations of love, we were also on heightened terrorist alert. It was, to say the least, a strange combination.
Happy Valentine's Day. May it, and each day of your life, be filled with love.
THOUGHTS ABOUT LOVE AND DUCT TAPE, Valentines Day, 2003
S H M I L Y
LETTER TO A FRIEND
LOVE QUOTES AND SHORT STORIES
POETRY OF LOVE
100 WAYS TO SAY "I LOVE YOU"
this link is to one of 'My Favorite Stories' pages
entitled Love Letter to a Cat
this link will take you to a lovely flash movie
called The Journey of Genuine Love
and this is to
A SPECIAL VALENTINE WISH
from Joan Adams Burchell