I’m not against Valentine’s Day or any of those other commercially oriented observances on the calendar. I just think we should show our love and appreciation on an ongoing basis.
I love my wife just as much on Feb. 15 as I do on Feb. 14. I also like the fact that a dozen roses can be purchased for half price that day.
The truth is, my wife agrees with me on this one.
I love being in a place that sells cards, candy and such at about 10 p.m. on the night before Valentine’s Day. There are guys in there searching through the picked-over cards in hopes of expressing their sentiments.
I spoke the other night to a group of people who had all had open-heart surgery. They have a greater appreciation for life.
But I talked about this thing we call the heart.
We have the heart, a multi-chambered organ that pumps life-sustaining blood all over our bodies. It’s a pretty amazing thing.
We also talk about the heart in terms of love. The symbol of Valentine’s Day is the heart, although it does not look like the real thing.
I’ve seen an actual human heart and it does not have two curves that come together at a triangular point at the bottom.
I’m glad that whoever designed the heart we use to symbolize love didn’t copy the real thing. I’m ever so proud of my beating heart, but I wouldn’t want it sent to you on a greeting card.
Do we really have two hearts, the one that keeps us alive and another that keeps us in love?
No, I don’t think so.
We use words like heart and soul to describe our very inner being, because we really don’t have the ability to describe it with any further degree of accuracy. Some people have more of it than others. There are folks who tell you they are concerned for you and they are so sincere that tears well up in your eyes. There are others who say the same words, but they ring rather hollow and empty.
In my way of looking at it, that is the heart by which we are measured.
But they are one in the same. When I see someone I love and care about, that blood pumping device tends to beat a little faster.
When I pick up the phone and hear “Hey, Honey” or “Hey, Daddy,” I feel warm inside. That’s your heart.
We set aside this one day that we are supposed to collectively say, “I love you.” I’ve done it, but I just don’t care for it.
I think you should love someone just as much on Aug. 4 or April 9, or Nov. 30. You show you love someone when you open a door for them, take out the trash without being asked or buy flowers for no particular reason.
There are tons of songs, poems and books that have been written about love and some of them are really good. But it doesn’t take a card, flower, song or poem to say “I love you.”
It just takes a heart.
Harris Blackwood is a columnist for The Times. His column appears every week in Sunday Life.