Everywhere around the world, people are celebrating the Day of Hearts. Call me a Valentine’s Scrooge, but I have never really believed in the spirit of V-Day.
Wherever I go, I see people clutching flowers and pink and red balloons. Fine dining restaurants are booked with couples holding hands, staring at each other, mindless of the people around them. Today is the day that singles wander aimlessly and feel lonelier at this time of the year, recovering from the pains of a broken heart, the One That Got Away or someone with a love they’ve never really had the courage to reveal.
Like Valentine’s, love is always great in the movies --- always exciting, fancy and will-sweep-you-off-your-feet. The word love can be easily thrown away as a means to describe the fancy things that it gets stripped off of its real meaning. Love and Valentine’s are always portrayed as beautiful, romance-laden and cinematic, but throughout my life I found that it lives in the simplest of things.
It lives in heavy sighs.
It lives in cups of coffee and endless conversation.
It lives in private jokes, stolen glances and secret smiles.
It lives in what wakes you up at morning and keeps you up at night.
It lives in daydreams and is found in speechless silences, in choking back tears and hard, racking sobs.
Love lives in worrying and anticipating a reply to a text message that feels like forever.
It lives in remembering insignificant details, like the bridge of their nose, the way their eyes crinkle when they laugh or the sound they make when they sleep.
It lives in a couple celebrating their 50 year old anniversary: holding each other’s gray, wrinkled hands, reminiscing about the past.
It lives in cheesy radio songs on the bus, and karaoke tunes --- singing out loud for the someone they choose to love in silence.
It lives in a prayer to a God who chose me first, no matter how many times I’ve failed and how frequently I’ve stumbled.
That’s what love is to me. No fancy flowers, cinematic photography or candy shaped hearts. Love is not always beautiful --- it can be ugly, awkward and downright painful.
Despite that, it is always simple, pure and real.
To those who are celebrating the day of hearts this year, I hope you remember that the spirit of love doesn’t end when the festivities are over. Wherever you are today, there will always be that One Great Love who will never cease to make you the greatest love of their life, even more than you will ever deserve. No matter how unglamorous love can become, spending a lifetime finding its true meaning will fight the good fight, conquer the impossible, and will always be worth it.