Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. – Leo Tolstoy
Humankind exhibits no inertia when it comes to celebration. As rational creatures, this transmission from one generation to another, of memories like anniversaries distinguishes us from the other members of the Kingdom Animalia. Nonetheless, is Valentines Day the only time to solidify this bond of love between spouses? Though we need to remember, because we tend to forget easily, a life of love cannot be fostered only once a year. Methinks that everyday ought to be Valentine for those who are licitly committed to an eternal relationship.
Valentines Day has assumed global statues as the day of lovers. Though most governments are yet to declare it a holiday, that reluctance is not present in the multitude of people who go ahead to celebrate it. Though this is not a medium to cry about the cultural imperialism of globalisation, Nigerians have not been behind in this celebration.
It is politically incorrect these days to reaffirm the huge gap between love and infatuation. Love being a transcendental attribute, finds its greatest expression in that eagerness of the beloved to give him or herself completely to the other. Since human love is a participation in the infinite Love of God, it should also be at the service of the loved and beloved. The huge gap between love and infatuation arises when one sees the other person as an object of pleasure. Thus sex which is good when ordained to the service of mutual complimentality and the recreation of offspring; is perverted for the pleasure it gives.
Mark and Helen are lovebirds, the Romeo and Juliet of a university in the South West. It is amazing to see them constantly paired up. Whenever Mark speaks, he spices his conversation with remarks like “Helen this, Helen that”. The same goes for Helen. These couples usually cause a stir at church. With the refinement of a gentleman, Mark always alight from the car before his Helen does, and then swings round to open the door for her. Customarily, he always allows her to lead the way while he tags along. This show of affection is not reserved for the sacredness of the temple alone; you need to see them in the Staff Club as well. Amazingly they are not on honeymoon, though their life together for the past 47 years looks like a perpetual one.
Valentine as daily ritual finds no better illustration than that of Mark and Helen. If love takes time to bloom, then it has to continually water lest it gets dehydrated. Like a lovely rose it has both the fresh fragrance and its thorns. Unfortunately, we tend to overlook the obvious; most Nigerian couples have no time for themselves. It’s always a mad race to make money, provide for the family, build a career, etc.
Let this year’s Valentine signal the renewal of your first meeting. A ritual of love that will not only be consigned to the closet of an annual affair let it ignite a renewal of a daily intimacy. If you could do it during courtship, then imitate Mark and Helen and turn each day into a Valentine. Happy Valentine!