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February is for Lovers

Valentine’s Day to celebrate or not? Sadly, this holiday has a bad reputation. How can that be? A day to celebrate love of all things, why don’t we jump at the chance to participate?! Most would blame the commercialism of the event. The feeling of needing to spend money to prove their love to another. Or others claim that Hallmark encouraged the idea of the holiday to boost card sales. And of course there’s also all those singles out there that tend to feel left out and prefer to boycott Vday events until they have a lover of their own.

It is true that the origins of the holiday are ambiguous at best. But one thing is for sure, there was a guy named Valentine who tried to do something brave and heroic and was beheaded or jailed or jailed then beheaded for his machinations. That kind of valor will surely get the title of Saint slapped in front of your name! Whatever the exact reasons of when and why this celebration started, it picked up in popularity around the 17th century when it became more and more common for people to exchange love notes and small tokens of affections on February 14th.

And I must say, for me, it’s the handwritten valentines that make this holiday so special. It’s said that “A Farewell to Love” was the first Valentine ever written. It was composed in the 15th century by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife from the Tower of London, where he was being held by the English after his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. This English translation is based on Charles d’Orleans’ own version.

A Farewell to Love

I am already sick of love,

My very gentle Valentine,

Since for me you were born too soon,

And I for you was born too late.

God forgives he who has estranged

Me from you for the whole year.

I am already sick of love,

My very gentle Valentine

Well might I have suspected,

Having such a destiny,

Thus would have happened this day,

How much that Love would have commanded.

I am already sick of love,

My very gentle Valentine

Afterall, taking the time to express how you feel, in writing is something that is rarely done, especially in this day and age. A valentine doesn’t just have to be for a lover either, a friend or family member or someone else near and dear deserves to know “how wonderful life is with them in the world”.

So I highly recommend that this St. Valentine’s Day, you write down in words what someone close means to you, even if it’s a text! You’d be surprised at what a few well chosen words can do to lift someone up!

So, Happy St. Valentine’s Day to you and you and you,may you feel the power of love from all around you!

Caffe Garibaldi

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