“Many waters cannot quench love . . . .” —Song of Solomon 8:7 (NKJV) *
“Valentine’s Day at the Laundromat,” my aunt’s folksong hums from the CD player, and though I’m not literally in a laundromat on this day of love, the dryer is rumbling in the background. I started a load of laundry after my son got sick this morning. His cards to his classmates were signed and waiting in a little bag by the backdoor, the milk chocolate apple wrapped up for his teacher. But, he’ll have to miss this school-day Valentine memory.
Gazing out the window this morning, I am tempted to wish for a Valentine’s Day in the past when the snow fell in large flakes all day long, covering this Texas town in wonder. My husband and I walked down a dirt road, transformed into a path of pure white. A friendly stray dog walked with us, and we paused to pet him, to gaze up at the branches heavy with snow, or to touch lips, warm against the cold.
That road is paved now; the dog long gone. I cuddle my son, warm with fever. This is what we have been given today. As if we’d been snowed in, we are confined to the house. Our busy lives are hushed. Will we remember this Valentine’s Day?
“Many waters cannot quench love . . . .” Nor glasses brimming with Gatorade and Sierra Mist. Nor load after load of laundry. Nor a repertoire of lullabies mixed with hugs and hair tousles. Nor stacks of picture books and layered blankets tucked round legs and toes.
Dear Lord, thank you for the opportunity you’ve given me today to show love.
* from my personal archives, February 14, 2012
P.S. After writing about Mr. Hatch’s mistaken Valentine, I was surprised this morning to find a humongous teddy bear smiling up at me from my front porch. It held a red heart that read, “I love you.” In front of the bear lay two sheets of folded notebook paper . . . a love note, but not written by my husband’s hand! (He had already given me my Valentine before he left for work.) I read enough of the note to discern that it was a teenage love note, and the intended recipient was a blue-eyed girl. Since no name was on the note, I had quite a thrill figuring out which teenage girl in the neighborhood it belonged to. I caught the intended recipient before she left for school, and she held the bear tenderly, smiling from ear to ear as she looked at the note! Ah, the first blossoms of love!