You grew up collecting uniform valentines each February. Most of them were cartoon cardboard cut-outs and, if you were lucky, kissed with candy kisses. You organized them in to hierarchies of sweetness: chocolates got top prize, soft sugared hearts near the bottom (they were pretty, but tasteless, like sweet chalk or, you later learned, a dinner date that doesn’t read).
You took pity on the sentiment-studded cards without candy and put them near the middle. They weren’t the ones you really wanted though you were vain enough to appreciate how many there were. No, you saved the prized place for the homemade ones—diollied and sequined-kissed hearts on pink and red and purple construction paper. Those were the ones from the people who taught you that love is a loud, garish thing. When you have it, you need the world to know that there is glitter in your heart and honey in your veins. There is so much of it, this feeling, that you want to hold it close like a secret and release it into the sky like a wild bird at the same time.
You don’t even need a special day in winter to quantify this sense—this awareness—that you are love and love is you. It was in the white blush-stained flowers so many years after those childhood cards, when adulthood lay heavy in your bones and you had begun to forget the feel of simple pleasures, those sweet things like feathers tickling your palm or the crackle of pink foil wrappers revealing candied promises. Frivolous little things. Unnecessary, yet muscling their way into your heart all the same.
Then there is the gift given to you just because on a forgettable weekday from someone who wants you to know that you are valued, that they notice the long hours in which you quietly go about your work. And the one you give them, to let them know that they are seen. These secret valentines are just as sweet as the one-inch by one-inch chocolate squares, edible care that fit perfectly in the palm of your hand or the truffles you make at home, dipped in love and infused with rose petals and sweet dreams to cure broken hearts and remind you that love is something that grows bigger the more you feed it.
Lately, you’ve come to appreciate the love that’s like a seed. Ready to bloom, ready to set down roots, ready to have garden-toughened hands coax sleeping stories into the light. The only thing that comes close to this are the rocks collected from a patch of earth and poured into your hands so that you don’t float away or the passed-around dog-earned pages of paperbacks because you have tales to share and discuss. Or the paper moons that keep you company as you make beeswax candles so that they may soften and sweeten a long day for those you love. Or better yet, the lovers in the tarot always reminding you that the heart behind your ribcage is whole and happy, a beating song to the universe.
Still, nothing is as sweet as that seed-love, which is why you always keep seeds in your pocket. You never know when someone will invite you to bloom.
Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!