Letter from Publisher, February 2019

Valentine’s Day brings back old memories. My very first remembrance is the excitement I felt as a 6-year-old when my older sister took me shopping for valentines to exchange with schoolmates. The valentine for our mother had to be special, though. We would take red construction paper, lace doilies and sequins and craft an elaborate heart, and then find words that would rhyme to let her know just how important she was as our mom.

As I grew older, it became an amorous occasion with that special someone—the red satin heart-shaped box of chocolates, the romantic dinner, the pretty card.

But, perhaps, Valentine’s Day should be more than that. Perhaps we should re-write Valentine’s Day and re-think what love means, whether as a single person or as a couple.

Love is not just about being part of a twosome—it’s about being whole within ourselves. When someone you meet is angry, confrontational or rude, have you ever thought that within is an unhappy, insecure individual void of self-love? Perhaps Valentine’s Day should be less about cupid and candy, and more about love, compassion and kindness for everyone, including ourselves.

Instead of spending our money on flowers and chocolate, maybe we could give a helping hand up to our fellow beings by giving some cash to a beggar on the street or donating it to a shelter for humans or animals.

Remember that holiday feeling of love and gratitude we had two months ago when everyone was filled with the Christmas spirit? Maybe we can extend that same energy to every living thing on Valentine’s Day.

Let’s decide that Valentine’s Day is about love for all life—human, animal, and the precious nature we take for granted. Maybe our loving kindness will deepen our own inner wellspring of love for self and others.

Compassion by Miller Williams (1930 – 2015), American contemporary poet

Have compassion for everyone you meet,
even if they don’t want it.
What seems conceit, bad manners, or cynicism
is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen.
You do not know what wars are going on
down there where the spirit meets the bone.

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Roberta Bolduc