St. Valentine’s Day
The Real St. Valentine’s Day

Today is St. Valentine’s Day. I didn’t want to endeavor to explain a holiday that no historians agree upon. The number of people associated with the genesis of Valentine’s Day is around four dozen. Most of these founders were back in ancient Roman times. And none of them were into chocolate and roses. They were martyrs for various reasons.

Some scholars attribute the poet Geoffrey Chaucer as the beginning of our understanding of Valentine’s Day and romantic love related to it. He wrote The Parliament of Fowls in the late 14th century.

The Parliament of Birds

The Parliament of Birds

At first glance, the title, The Parliament of Fowls, seems a stretch for human romantic love in Chaucer’s long 700 lines of poem. This is one of many stanzas.

On every bough the birds heard I sing,
With voice of angels in their harmony;
Some busied themselves birds forth to bring;
The little coneys to here play did hie.
And further all about I could see
The dread filled roe, the buck, the hart and hind,
Squirrels, and beasts small of gentle kind.

It was an analogy about courtly life in merry old England. That said, reaching where we are today has taken a half dozen centuries.

This article addresses a more up-to-date Valentine’s Day mindset. The first example is about my Grandfather Campbell’s postcards from his girlfriend. Her name was Mary S. Years ago, before my father died, he gave me a lot of mementos of his childhood, including about a dozen leather postcards. These leather postcards were sent to his father a decade before my father was born. There were three leather postcards from Mary, and one was postmarked February 14, 1908.

Birds Postcard Postcard back

He lived with his parents in Pennsauken, NJ, and was in his late teens. These other two leather postcards were sent to him in February and March of 1908.

Best wishes Woman

No one still alive would have known either my grandfather or who was the mysterious Mary. Therefore, you know the same information as I do. Apparently, they enjoyed Valentine’s Day in 1908, but that attraction didn’t last long and has been lost in time.

The second example of romantic love is between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl. The American Gaming Association estimated $23.1 billion was bet on the Super Bowl and related items. Some bets were made regarding whether Swift and Kelce would be engaged after the game or on Valentine’s Day. This video is a long kiss between Kelce and Swift after the game.

Again, I lack very much of a knowledge base of either lover. I’m a Steeler fan, and I couldn’t name a song she wrote for fourteen albums. Additionally, I have not attended any of her six tours. However, this is Swift’s singing This Love. It seems fitting as a song on Valentine’s Day.

My near-total lack of anything about Taylor Swift caused me to Google her. I want my readers to watch this video of her at New York University giving a commencement address to the graduate in 2022.

Taylor Swift is excellent at many levels. I was amazed at what Taylor Swift said to those graduates. This one-liner applied to those students and all of us. “The scary news is you are on your own now, but the cool news is you are on your own now.” That is our reason for being, regardless of our age. We can create a purpose for our being, but it isn’t about ourselves. It is in giving that we receive.