Valentines Day is a tricky one. It's a day for couples and those in love to celebrate their good fortune. Sometimes smugly. A lot of the hype gets pretty cheesy. But even for those of us who are on our own at the moment, it's still a good chance to think about love and be thankful for what we have.
After all, drop-everything-crazy-romantic love is just one kind of love. We also have the warm, unconditional love of our families. The fun, supportive love of our friends. Never underestimate how good it can feel to love someone (or even something) with no expectation of anything in return. You might adore your job, or that hobby or creative outlet you stay up late at night to work on. You might be smitten with your puppy or obsessed with an old Van Morrison album you just rediscovered on your ipod, or just crushing on the way the light falls on that park you ride your bike through after work. The very fact that you don't know where your next kiss will come from can be something to love! There's so much to love it seems unimaginative to get antsy about all the booked-out restaurants and overpriced floral arrangements of Valentines Day.
I don't generally go beyond the pictures on The Sartorialist, but Scott's post last week (scroll down to Feb 2) on gentleness, gentlemanliness and grace really resonated with me. Grace is something we don't make enough time for these days - small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness that can brighten someone's day more than you know. It's really lovely to go through the comments, where people have written in about the grace and chivalry they find in little actions of their partners.
So this Valentines Day I'm thankful for a lot of things. That I'm with my VERY best friend from my school days, the strongest bravest girl I know. That the most rock-solid couple I know just welcomed their son into the world - and he is going to be the most loved and damn cool kid out there. (I am still hoping he might be named after me!) That Pi is coming home from New York, that Alison is coming home from London, and soon Emily will too. That my sister is loved up with one of the coolest guys I know, that my housemate is loving life and trying to convince anyone and everyone to move to Sydney and share it. That life is good and there are photos to take and words to write and food and wine and laughs to share. That I got to do the couple thing myself, all the messy glorious intense loveliness of it, with one of the most incredible people I know - and that we can still be friends.
So wherever you fit in the single/coupled continuum, happy Valentines Day. Smile at someone cute on the street. Wish an old lady good morning. Let your taxi driver keep the change. Give your mum a call just to say hi. Hold the door for someone at work. There's so much grace waiting to be had - and given. Share the love.