By Rev. Joan Kessler
Song of Songs 2: 8-13 and 8: 6-7
Have you ever written a love letter? Do you remember that special person whom you were writing to? Do you recall what you said? Do you remember the exhilaration of putting pen to paper and sharing those words that came straight from your heart? Was it plain foolscap or maybe a nice card or fancy stationary with a matching envelope? I think I was around four-and-a-half or five years old when I wrote my first love letter. Well, actually, I think I dictated it to my Mum and she wrote it. I had been a flower girl in our neighbor’s wedding party and my partner for the day, the ring-bearer, was a nice boy named Steven and as fate would have it, we were exactly the same age and shared the same birthday and we would of course also marry one day because that’s how love at 5 works. You can’t imagine it not lasting or being any different. He lived a few hours away from me and we corresponded through the mail and sent one another small mementos that would fit in small envelopes. And then the inevitable happened: we grew up and we moved along life’s paths in different directions. But as I thought about this reflection this past week, I remembered this first friend. It’s good to remember being four-and-a-half. The experience of being full human is all about knowing and experiencing Love, even through the eyes of a child.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I learned a bit more about this day. St. Valentine was believed to be an early priest who may have been martyred for helping third-century persecuted Christians to marry. None of his story is confirmed by history and the catholic church’s liturgical veneration of him was discontinued but he remains listed as a recognized saint. Fourteenth century English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer may be more responsible for this heart-holiday. In his poem, Parliament of Foules, he linked romantic love to St. Valentine’s feast day. And he also declared that February 14 was the day birds came together to find a mate. It has come to be known as a day for lovebirds, for showing care and affecti