Friday, February 10, 2017

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How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
--Elizabeth Barrett Browning

My Grandpa could recite this from memory. I think it was one of his favorite poems, if not *the* favorite. I think of it often because it is one of my favorite poem's also, and especially at this time of year. 
I love Valentines Day. Any holiday that celebrates love is going to be a favorite time for me. There are many different kinds of love. I know that February 14th is related to the romantic kind by most, and I celebrate that. 
I also celebrate a Mom loving her child, a sister loving her sister, a Father loving his son, a friend loving their friend. 
With the unfortunate front row seat to a view of the political world we have currently, amongst other things, I focus more firmly than I ever have before on the little things that I want to celebrate and the big things that I want to embrace, and everything in between that is free to us. No cost, at our fingertips, on the very tip of our tongue ideas and mantras that we can embrace and walk with and think about, if only to escape harsh realities and dismal negativity. 

A few weeks ago I had to watch with horror as the patio above mine, slowly burned into a raging fire that destroyed the apartment that went with it. In shock that night, I sat on the floor of the new apartment I would reside in permanently, with the new keys in one hand and a beer in the other, slowly coming to terms with the previous six hours. I finally looked up. Then I looked around. And realized that I really liked this new place. Freshly renovated, a lot more space.....a list was forming in my mind. A positive list. A spin on things that took the direction of thoughts from dark to very bright, sparkly lights. I began to think about what this move would bring. Organization, the throwing away of things that I meant to months or even years ago, but never took the time. A fresh perspective. A different, but still lovely, view just outside the windows. Despite the tiring packing and moving and traipsing back and forth, the friendships made and even the joking manner that took over all of us, became a camaraderie of sorts. My neighbor who lost everything, was overheard saying again and again, "I didn't lose anything". We knew what he meant. No one was hurt, and "the things" are replaceable. People are not. 

Suffice to say that life often hands out reminders that can unfortunately be delivered in big blows, of what is really important, and what simply doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. 

So as I scroll through social media, in bits and pieces mind you, and see the light-hearted jokes about being single on Valentines Day, I laugh out loud and smile knowing the personality that posted it. It's all in fun, and if we can't laugh at life what else is there?

But this is your Valentine, friends. My Valentine to you. There are many kinds of love. And we are here to celebrate each and every one. If we so choose.

"I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life!"

My favorite part. 

Love to you friends, on this Valentines Day (weekend) as you see, I like to s t r e t c h the celebrations out. Make them l o n g e r.
Until, before I know it, I'm celebrating even the smallest of victories, daily.

See you soon,

PS Don't forget the Lunar Eclipse and Snow Moon tonight! AND the Peanuts gang is on ABC tonight at 7p-"Be My Valentine Charlie Brown"

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