So starts the second stanza of one of my favourite ballads. But love is, perhaps, the most abused word in the dictionary. The world seems to have lost the concept of what love really means. Yesterday, my son asked me when Valentine’s Day was first celebrated and I made the snide remark that it’s just another Hallmark holiday. But, on this day dedicated to love and lovers everywhere, I will refrain from being cynical.
So where did it all start? Well, like all other good things, this day started off as a fertility festival in ancient Rome. The Lupercalia was celebrated between February 13-15. Then, some time around February 14th (or so they say), a Christian man named Valentine (possibly a priest) was martyred. His crime? He defied the emperor (Claudius II) by continuing to perform marriage ceremonies even though Claudius thought that bachelors made better soldiers. And the rest is a mish-mesh of legends and history. But leaving all cynicism aside, where would the world be without love? We all need it, we all crave it and we are all the better for having found it.
The way I see it, we should celebrate our loved ones everyday and not wait for mid-February every year to let them know how much we love them. But I still hope you have some romantic plans lined up for this weekend. If not, well, there’s always one of your favourite love stories to watch. These are just two of mine.
Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.- Anais Nin
Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires; To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
As for that ballad I mentioned, here it is …