~ all the little things that make each day a miracle ~
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Happy St. Valentine's Day!
Romeo and Juliet by Sir Frank Dicksee (1884)
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
~William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
Valentine's Day began during the Roman Empire. Juno, the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses, was honored on February 14th in ancient Rome. Juno was also known as the Goddess of women and marriage. February 15th was the Feast of Lupercalia. Boys and girls were segregated during this time in history, but name-drawing, on the eve of Lupercalia, paired children for a year. Often, these pairs would fall in love and, later, marry.
Rome was involved in many bloody battles, under the rule of Emperor Claudius II, also known as Claudius the Cruel. Claudius was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his armies because the Roman men did not want to leave their beloveds or families. Because of this, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements.
Saint Valentine was a priest in Rome during this time. He helped Christian martyrs and married couples secretly. Saint Valentine was captured and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to death. He was clubbed to death and beheaded. His martyrdom occurred on February 14, 270 A. D.
Early Christian pastors in Rome attempted to substitute saints' names for those of maidens and changed Lupercalia to Saint Valentine's Day. The custom of young men choosing maidens for valentines, or saints as patrons for the coming year, thus came about.
Here is what I learned about love today:
God has given me a devoted husband who is the joy of my life.
God has protected one dear daughter on her Valentine's Day trip to Rome.
He has given me the chance to spend tomorrow evening catching up with another precious daughter while shopping for a dress for her upcoming solo recital at her university.
He has blessed me with a son who called to invite me to Mother's Day weekend at his university.
He has given me time to relax and enjoy reading two chapters of The Courage of Sarah Noble to my youngest four children.
He has blessed my family with the upcoming birth of our first grandchild and the anticipation of watching a dear daughter and son-in-law grace this precious blessing with their loving care.
He has given me time and energy to comfort and tend to a sweet, athletic son who is ill, and who appreciated a Valentine teddy bear holding a football more than I would have imagined.
He has surrounded me with friends and family who inspire and edify.
He has arranged things so that I might see my darling mother and amazing sister this weekend.
He has given me a teenage daughter who just hung a family game night schedule on the frig which instructed us to bring "games, soda, and happiness" to the event.
He has given me the time to watch a fine son (attending yet another college!) sketch an amazing drawing while teaching his youngest sister about chiaroscuro.
He has given me music in my home - tonight, some lovely Texas Western fiddle and Welsh harp pieces.
He has given me a daughter who, even after becoming a leader in business and a diplomat with a heart of gold, continues to take her role as eldest daughter and sister most seriously.
I learned that love is counting my blessings, naming them one by one, and being filled with gratitude.
Happy Valentine's Day to you and your beloved(s)!
Posted by Babette at 7:33 PM
- I live on a forested mountain with my beloved husband and our large family. Less is more, except where children are concerned. My favorite pastimes are practicing yoga on my side deck, learning how to improvise on the cello, and boating into the Puget Sound with my sweetheart.