little bit, at least) about the holiday. I discovered the day initially was one of sharing letters and hand written poems with the one you loved. These letters and poems were at times beautifully romantic, sometimes utterly gut wrenching, and other times full of humor. As a Writing and Literature major, I found this idea of the day to be appealing. A chance to put into your own words how someone makes you feel, how they affect your life, how they broadened what you thought you knew of the world and your own heart.
In a letter to his wife, Zelda, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote "You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known- and even that is an understatement." And Zelda once wrote to him, “Why is there happiness and comfort and excitement where you are and no where else in the world?”
The great poet Rumi wrote, "In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art." And he most humorously wrote, "Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, and absent-minded." A clear nod to the rush of seemingly glorious insanity that arrives when falling in love.
But one of my most favorite quotes about love comes from the writer Alice Walker who wrote, “I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart.”
This line taught me so much about myself, and the way I viewed Valentine's Day. We all seek to love and be loved. And from an early age, when we're dropping those little Valentine's Day cards into fellow students mail boxes, to trying to book dinner reservations and think of the perfect gift thirty years later, we worry about love; if we're doing it right, if we show it the right way, if it's good enough, if we're good enough. The moment I realized I could stop worrying about love, and instead be completely open to it, was when I truly became a fan of Valentine's Day. It liberated me to honoring it as a day about all the love there is to give and receive throughout life, not just between lovers, but friends, parents, siblings, colleagues. And now, as a mom, I excitedly prepare little Valentine's packages for my kids with a handwritten note acknowledging the unique things I cherish and love about them, a sea shell we collected together or a memento from a trip, and of course their favorite baked goodies. I've learned not to worry about love, but to honor it, welcome it, and gleefully feel it in all its beautifully messy glory.
So, this Valentine's Day, I invite you to grab a pen and write someone you love a little note. Don't worry about it being perfect. Just let it be from the heart. And I'm pretty sure you'll find that love is most perfect when expressed and honored in perfectly imperfect ways.