If you look at the calendar you will see a variety of days designated as holidays. Some are meant to remember things such as Groundhog Day as a way to predict the arrival of spring. Others are set aside to honor our veterans or those in America's labor movement. And still others are a time for family and friends to gather and give thanks.
There are no shortages of days for celebration or to remember on our calendars. Those that decide such things have over time designated many official and unofficial days throughout our calendar year. This Sunday is perhaps the one day each year we celebrate something a little different, the very human emotion of love.
It is a word we hear almost every day in our lives. TV commercials use it to describe how our pets feel about a type of pet food. It may be something you say to a friend to tell that new book you just finished reading. Or perhaps as a way to explain how you feel about those Mountaineers playing football.
It is a word we use to express many different things in our daily lives. I guess it is when we speak about affairs of the heart that we really try and understand Love.
As children, we are first exposed to love as a simple Valentine card exchanged with classmates. Those small cards decorated with red hearts, which were carefully cut out of paper and exchanged. Classroom walls were decorated with pictures of the mythical character we call Cupid, who is said to shoot arrows of love into the heart of the one we love.
We all grow up loving our parents in a way that seems to need no explanation. But one day we find ourselves for the first time looking at the person that sits two rows over in class and remembering how they smiled at you during recess. And somehow it was different than anything you had ever experienced before. A feeling not yet understood, and maybe the first moment you have sensed the emotion of love.
More than likely you don't understand those feelings and they are forgotten as recess ends. But then on Valentine's Day you find an envelope with your name on it and your hands begin to sweat as you open the letter addressed just to you. You look around to make sure no one has seen as you open that special letter. The card has a picture of a heart with an arrow thru the middle. And at the bottom it says, To Some one Special This Valentine's Day. You open the card and inside you read, Please Be My Valentine. Then in neatly printed letters it says, Love Bobby. Just a short time before you exchanged smiles with that very person on a crowded playground. You have now experienced love for the first time.
That first experience is much like the dog that chased the car down the road. Neither he nor you are sure what happens if you capture the object of your interest. That first time you experience the emotion of love is often new and frightening. But it is exciting. Some call it puppy love; others will call it first love. Whatever the title, it is one of mankind's strongest emotions and the one we spend a great deal of time trying to find and understand.
That first love is uncomplicated and finds our hearts free from the world of emotions we gather as we grow. And perhaps that is so we can all understand love in its purest form.
As we grow, love often becomes more complicated. The physical part of the emotion is often what most people think of when we speak of love. And perhaps that is what attracts us to one another. But over time the physical part and the emotional part of love often find a balance. When those two are in the balance we truly have found the real meaning of the word. It is a balance that tips one way and then the other over the course of our daily lives. Other emotions and love are constantly changing throughout our lives. For those of us that find we can make them work together we are often the happiest in personal relationships. Love is a work in progress; it never stays still as the world is constantly changing. If you are lucky and can find that emotion deep in your heart from long ago, you have pure love.
This Valentine's Day remember that card with the simple heart on the front and the arrow that pierces the middle. That first time emotion is hopefully still there and all you have to do is smile at the one you love and say "Please be My Valentine." That is love as I look Thru the Lens.