Happy Valentines Day.
As a single man who loves romance, today is a special day for me. I mark the day because I think it’s a terrible holiday. I always have. I think it put strain on past relationships that I’ve always felt this way, but you know what, who cares? Let the world of naivete lovers think they can schedule sunshine and rainbows.
In elementary school we were taught to give out valentines cards to all the girls and in some cases all the kids. It made more sense. As adults we are told that it’s a day to celebrate the person you love. You are supposed to do something special for your partner in life today because they need to know that you passed a drug store or a newspaper that told you valentine’s day was coming. Somewhere in the teenage years, we were taught to believe that it was a time to lust after a new lover and try to make a new connection.
Last year, 5 days before Valentine’s day, I posted the words “uh oh” on Facebook with no explanation. Ten lightning fast days after my divorce I had noticed a girl. I had met her before, but it was on that day that my pupils dilated. It was like a Florida rain.
For those of you who don’t know how it rains in Florida, let me explain. Sometimes you wake up to strange sounds and you realize that it’s been raining since before you woke up. This was common in my childhood on Long Island, but has only happened twice since I’ve moved down here. More often than not, the way rain happens down here is just all of a sudden, the blue skies turn grey and the temperature noticeably drops. Within a few moments the rain comes in big scattered drops. Then it comes quickly for a few minutes and is generally gone within 15 minutes. It rains just long enough for you to remember why this is the sunshine state. Then as quick as it came, it is gone.
She is my personal rain cloud. Unexpectedly, she floats across my mind unexpectedly and gives me a few moments of awe and inspiration and then she fades away into the awesomeness of life. The first time she did that was the most unexpected feeling I’ve ever had. My marriage ended in drought. I hadn’t really felt the rain on my face in over a year. I wanted to sing. Sometimes she shows up in my mind and makes the entire world tingly all day, but that has only happened once or twice.
You know what though? The cloud does not care about you. She shows up and does her thing and changes the world, but is unaffected by the love of the plants and the people. As a romantic who can truly love the feelings of love she awakens in me, I lose sight of the fact that the cloud is not what I love. It is the rain. There are tiny pulses of electricity that fire off as each drop touches your skin. There is the way that the water collects on your scalp and cools it to where it is almost uncomfortable and then slides down your back and shoulders. The temperature difference between Florida air and rainwater is exquisite.
Why do I bring this up on Valentine’s day? Because that feeling is what ought to be celebrated today. Today I celebrate the rain all my loved ones scatter in the world. Today I celebrate the hurricane that was my ex-wife. There is no better analogy for our relationship. The eye of that storm is the most peace I’ve ever known and after that I didn’t know if I could ever enjoy the rain again. The second half of the storm was even more tumultuous. The drought afterwards left life parched and the world felt like it was dying.
And then it rained. Thank you Jeannette for scattering the sunshine as only love can.
I don’t watch weather forecasts. I don’t plan for rain. I don’t carry an umbrella. Sometimes the rain is inconvenient, but I love it every time. I don’t need a day on a calendar to enjoy it. I don’t need to know she feels the same way. I’m ready to love again. I don’t know where she is, but somewhere there is a girl for me who will light up the world. In the meantime and even after we’ve met and fallen in love, she will love the fact that I sing in the rain. Well, I don’t really sing, I just stand there and breathe and listen to the song. Unashamed. Unembarrassed. And I’ll come home, soaking wet and happy. There are things you can only see when it rains. In the meantime I will let you lovers of naivete celebrate your day and I will celebrate it the same as every other day.