Where the Heart Is

Today is Valentine’s Day, a day to kiss your sweetheart, buy your baby a bouquet or bestow a box of chocolates on that special someone. Lacking a human worthy of your romantic love, take a moment to hug your dog, pat your cat or say something pleasant to a neighbor or a friend. It’s February; we can all use a little warmth.

Valentine’s Day Inspires Vineyard Lovers

Many threads have woven through history to shape the Valentine’s Day we celebrate today into admittedly a rather commercial holiday. But it’s been industrialized since the mid-1800s when an enterprising Boston artist, Esther Howland, picked up on the popularity amongst wealthy Europeans of exchanging intricately designed Valentine’s cards. Ms. Howland started the first Valentine’s Day card company in the United States, handcrafting cards with ribbons and paper lace imported from England.

Love Blooms

Even though it is only February, there will soon be a mad smattering of blooms Islandwide.

It is not global warming causing the flowers to blossom early; rather, it is the lovefest of St. Valentine’s Day that brings out the buds. Flowers are one of the more common gifts bestowed on this special day, keeping florists very busy. Valentine’s Day is their number one holiday, accounting for about 36 per cent of their annual volume and 40 per cent of their yearly income.

Cupid’s Food

“Forget love . . . I’d rather fall in chocolate!”

  While no one owned up to that quote, I say, whychoose? Enjoy both this Valentine’s Day.

On Sunday there will be lots of love and lots of chocolate, and though some may thank Cupid for finding them love, the chocolate fans should be worshipping Hegemone. Hegemone is the Goddess of Plants and is responsible for making sure that plants bloom and bear fruit.

Valentine’s Gifts Can Deliver More than Just Sugar High

Recently a friend asked me for Valentine’s Day suggestions for a weekend on the Vineyard. I knew she was looking for restaurants and gift ideas. Instead, I sent her four love stories which led to suggestions for showing love on the Island in ways that are not traditional.

Every summer morning en route to camp on the Upper West Side of Manhattan my mother, sister and I would pass a group of homeless people keeping warm by congregating on the large grates in front of the Eighth avenue side of Madison Square Garden.

Pure of Heart

Before there were chocolate, roses, and sentimental cards, there were animal sacrifices, whippings, and nakedness. It must have been quite a party!

Early celebrations of the holiday that would eventually be known as Valentine’s Day were a bit more raucous than our modern-day traditions. As with most Christian-based holidays, there was a pagan festival that preceded it.