A spark of thought often comes like a flash of lightening across our minds and we reap the brilliant reward of memorable times of our childhood.  Such was the occasion of knowing Valentines Day was coming soon, being swept back in time and carried by the expectancy of proudly remembering some of those youthful times.  Valentines Day was a magical time when, who knows, Cupid might strike you with one of those special arrows.  It was an innocent time not springing from Bible stories.  It was some kind of electrical time that released sweet happy thoughts.

Valentines in our family were hard to get, or not an every year time for store bought ones.  On those years, I and my brothers and sisters would have, maybe, four or five cards.  We had to choose with whom we would share a card with in our classes.  Sometimes, we made homemade cards out of simple construction paper.  Artistry was not my special ability.  Drawing was very difficult, but coloring the pictures was always easier.  Sometimes my brothers and sisters had to make hard choices about what we celebrated.  Keeping your place in life was a gift that all poorer children had, like sharing what you had and never saying we (I) didn’t have anymore cards for everyone in the class. Oh, sure all the class knew our (my) status, but no one condemned you for it.  In a way my classmates were the same, taking life as it came and enjoying it to the fullest was what we did.

Good thoughts of Valentines lifted everyone’s spirits.  Everyone wanted to be loved and accepted.  Valentines Day was, sort of, that kind of day.  The teacher would be feeling much better for Valentines Day, because everyone would share loving attitudes that day.  The best behavior was the goal for all.  We all waited for the hour to come that we would be free to deliver our Valentines to one another.  In some classes each child would hang a decorated paper bag along the wall to receive “all the Valentines”. It was just a happy time to open Valentines and read the name and the note inside.  No Valentine party was a good party unless candy was shared by all.  All those little hearts and the fine print were just silly.  But, it was our time to dream and have a fantasy love.  How many different love lines could you find in your candy Valentines?  To me it really did not mater, because I was going to eat mine anyway! What could really top Valentines Day off?  Why, it would be a classroom volunteer Mother who brought cupcakes and drink for our party too!  You know, I loved those people that did things for us.  It was a generous and happy time that imprinted itself in our memories.  I said, Valentines Day was a magical time.  It really was!

In some years Valentines Day was really special…Remember that sweet little girl or boy that caught your eye almost every time you looked that way?  How about the note that you or they slipped you when the teacher wasn’t looking?  For that year Valentines Day was just special! It was a children’s world when anything was possible, because all of life opened before us great possibilities.  Liking that favorite boy or girl was fun. You could talk to them and have a friendly time together at recess, lunch, or waiting for the bus.

Valentines Day still is a time of sharing love and appreciation with all those that we know.  That’s what Apostle John wrote, “To love our neighbors as ourselves”. Good will toward all men should become our attitude and our character will profess it.  Love needs feet, hands, and a heart, lest love not get there any other way.  Valentines love is magical, often changing the heart, but always changing the face to a smile.

Happy Valentines Day!

Gene Plyler