We are nearing the end of January. The stores have been displaying all the Valentine’s Day celebration cards and gifts for several weeks. Valentine’s Day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. Originally it was most often celebrated with hand-written notes of affection and love to another.
It seems to me, that it might also include a heightened awareness of the love of self – a necessary element and precursor to authentically loving the other. When we recognize the love we are as individuals, we can easily and beautifully extend love to others. One of the ways in which we can best love ourselves is to nourish ourselves – not necessarily with “things” but rather with a deep awareness of what our soul most longs to recognize and know. Sometimes this nudges us to do a little pruning and sometimes we may need to add something or grow in some manner. Giving attention to our own inner growth and health is always a valuable investment. When we consciously tend to our inner selves, we are simultaneously tending the world and our lovers and significant others wholeheartedly and fully.
One of the pieces in my collection of bronze art vessels, Nourished, is a vessel for lovers. The foliage on this piece is more subtle and the tree trunks/bark are much more dramatic than on other pieces in my collection of artwork. The bark is that which is presented to the world – the color, if you will, of the tree – and that which protects it. Our best protection of ourselves is to protect ourselves through caring for ourselves tenderly and lovingly. The outer bark of the tree protects it so that the inner sap can flow freely. Likewise, if we protect ourselves through caring for ourselves, our inner bark – our love – can flow much more freely. The negative space on Nourished, in many places is in the subtle shape of the heart. It is not obvious when first looking at the piece, but with closer examination one can quickly find many heart-shaped openings in the piece. The essence of the piece is the invitation to mirror the tree’s wisdom – care for ourselves so our love can flow freely. In giving attention to what our soul needs most – nourishing ourselves – we are able to be and give love beautifully and authentically.
Perhaps you might write your own Valentine’s Day sentiment to yourself and to your loved one this year. There is nothing more meaningful than a hand-written note of love and affection. Or, if your budget allows, you might consider the gift of a piece of fine art sculpture, in a limited edition of bronze. My limited edition of the bronze vessel, Nourished, expresses love and marriage in the deepest sense. Regardless of your manner of celebration, may love flow freely through you extending beautifully to your loved ones this Saint Valentine’s Day – and always.