The Nature of Valentine’s Day

Sky fire on Wetetnagami

Most people don’t know that the origins of Valentine’s Day was extremely dubious. And while I will spare the gory details it was originally celebrated from February 13th through 15th by the Romans as Lupercalia and it involved random acts of unkindness to both animals and women. Centuries later both Chaucer and Shakespeare romanticized the holiday and turned it into a much more respectable day aimed at celebrating one of the greatest of all emotions: love. And although many still see it as primarily an unofficial holiday that boosts greeting card sales it is till accepted by most of us as a time when we can pause and think about what matters to us the most. Those we love, the parts of life that we love, and certainly the expression of that love.

Truly, what could be better? Nothing could be more important than love.

Maureen and me in the wilderness of Northern Quebec, 2012.

On this Valentine’s day I will be thinking first of my wonderful wife and our two sons. From the first date that I had with my wife, Maureen, I knew that I loved her. We make each other laugh every single day. We support each other through difficult times and celebrate the good times. Each of us tells the other “I love you” each and every day. And perhaps the best part of our wonderful relationship is that we each maintain our own independence. We work apart, sometimes enjoy our friends apart, and we miss each other when we are apart. Quite simply said, I really feel that life would be totally incomplete without Maureen. She is the part that makes the whole complete.

Liam with a pike @ Lac Wetetnamai

And our children. The first thing I learned from each of them was that love at first sight is a real phenomenon. When our first son was born it was the very first time I realized I could love someone the very moment that I laid my eyes on them. Not surprisingly it only happened one other time and that was when my second son was born. And yes, like most young parents we initially fumbled through early parenthood but with experience we gained momentum and became pretty good at parenting by the time the boys were teenagers. So good in fact that we even managed to tolerate those tumultuous times and get through as a family although we would both admit that the teenage years were very challenging. And now, as adults, we could not love either one of them more than we do. We are prouder of their accomplishments than we ever were of our own. They are OUR everything.

Brendan @ Lac Wetetnagami

Cooper, Adia, and yours truly.

Oh, and let’s not forget the hounds. Unless you’ve ever lived with a bloodhound it would be hard to imagine how human they are. They have a sense of humor, and yes, they even play jokes on you. And although they are fiercely independent no dog is more loyal. If you love a hound they will love you back unconditionally. And for those of you thinking that the dogs have filled the void for children grown to adults you would be right. We love our dogs without any reservations. That simply is the way it is.

Nature at its finest!

And on a more personal note, I am in love with the natural world. There is not a day that goes by when I do not marvel at the miracles we witness at nearly every turn. This planet is one living organism of which we humans are a part. It is not only our duty but our responsibility to stay in step with nature. It is not a matter of protecting the natural world it is a matter of respecting our planet to the point where protection is no longer needed. After all, when we do protect the Earth we are generally protecting it from ourselves. Really it’s not to hard to be in love with the very source of our own existence. It really should come naturally.

And with that I will leave you all with one more item, a poem that I wrote in December of 2013. It occurred to me that the thinking in this poem fits in nicely with the real purpose of Valentine’s Day. Please find this below.

Hold Me

Hold me

chest to breast

Hold me

in your heart.

Hold me

I am blessed

Hold me

so we’re never apart.

See me

with eyes wide open.

See me

with your naked soul

See me

with truth unbroken.

See me

spirit unbridled and whole

Touch me

so I can mend

Touch me

to put my mind at rest

Touch me

so my heart can ascend

Touch me

so love can be its best.

Feel me

to my inner being

Fell me

to my very core

Feel me

my passions freeing

Feel me

forever and ever more

Hold me

chest to breast

Hold me

in your heart.

Hold me

I am blessed

Hold me

so we’re never apart.

©Wild Ramblings

Bill Lattrell

December 2013

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