Dating can be challenging in any context, but it’s especially so for people living on an Island like Martha’s Vineyard.


February is time for matters of the heart.


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.


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.


For Valentine’s Day, an essay about love and something more, first published in the Gazette in February, 2011.


“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.