I expect there are many people out there today blogging about the meaning of Valentine’s Day. And I’m another one! Equally, many people bemoaning the fact that Valentine’s Day is a modern festival started by some unscrupulous greeting card manufacturer somewhere.
Well, as is my wont, I Googled St Valentine to find out a little more, and it’s clear that links between one or more martyrs called Valentine and romantic love have been around for sometime. Here’s a reference from Shakespeare’s Hamlet (written in about C1600), spoken by Ophelia:
To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.
I believe Ophelia is musing about possibly losing more than your heart on Valentine’s Day!
So, what do I think about it all? Well, taken seriously, I think the act of declaring your love for another is perhaps a person’s most vulnerable moment. To declare it, and hope that it is returned in equal measure, is a risk. But a risk worth taking. We can choose to see Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to share how we feel with someone, or keep quiet and possibly risk losing the chance of a lifetime (I’m an old romantic, can you tell?)
Few of us take the day seriously, and at worst it is just a bit of fun and a chance to share our feelings. For those of you out there who are taking it seriously, I applaud your ardour and I know that your courage will be rewarded.