Giving sunflowers to the best mom in the world. Secretly dropping off cupcakes on a friend’s front porch. Handing out flowers to strangers. I can’t get enough of Love Day.
You see, I used to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But something was missing. I saw people around me giving to receive or, worse, expecting just to be given to. For a holiday based around love, I’m not sure I see the love in that.
For those that give with love as the core intention, you might notice the day comes and goes as fast as chocolate candies. The 14th is always packed with heart emoticons, red glitter, and smiles. We share meals with each other instead of with the tv and plan a girls night out that wouldn’t happen otherwise. It’s really quite beautiful.
But what about the 15th? The 16th? By this time, we’re sick of chewy caramel candy hearts and we just can’t seem to get rid of that damn glitter fast enough. Everyone’s back to the daily routine and we find ourselves focusing on the cold and the miserable.
What happened to the love?
Several years ago, I read Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl. If you’re not familiar, it’s about a nonconformist teen who is committed to helping others through acts of kindness, such as giving notes with positive messages to strangers. Often times, she gives anonymously without expecting recognition for her generosity. Stargirl is truly a kind soul who emulates nothing short of love.
But Stargirl doesn’t just love on one day. She loves every day.
Today is a holiday surrounding love, which is why I’ve given it a new name: Love Day. I don’t need a Valentine to celebrate love. All I need is a little kindness.
With a nod to Stargirl, I’m dedicating this Love Day to a new beginning of spreading kindness to everyone in my life – from the barista at 7-11 who remembers my coffee order every afternoon to a man walking his dog next to me at the park. Even if it’s just with one flower.
Eric and I set out on our flower frenzy to brighten someone else’s day. And while I hope that we did that, as we were gleefully biking home I realized: my day was unexpectedly brightened in return.
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