Valentine’s day has always been one of my favorite holidays. I just LOVE love and I am a hopeless romantic. I love hearts. I even collect stones that I find that resemble hearts, and the more abstract they are the more I love them. One of the first gifts Carl gave me when we were first dating was a heart sculpture that he bought when he was in Sweden visiting his family. It is a simple, carved, wooden heart, painted red and perched on a rod in the center of a small cement block. I loved it so much that on my first trip with him to Sweden the following year I bought its sister sculpture to add to my collection. My new one was twice as tall and the heart was painted white instead of red. The next year we bought a third version made by the same artist and it was at that point that my husband told me I needed to start being more selective when it came to overwhelming our house with hearts. We were living together now and this news was somewhat sad. He liked hearts too but just not quite as much as me. Okay. I think I can deal with that. I thought.
After traveling to Sweden with him the first time I was pleasantly surprised by all of the hearts I saw everywhere, tucked into little nooks and crannies. Hearts on paper napkins, hearts on signs and in restaurants, heart Christmas ornaments, and hearts incorporated into a great deal of the art and handcrafts I would see around. It is almost like the heart-shape is a national symbol of Sweden. It isn’t really but there seem to be hearts everywhere. I was in heaven. And I thought that he must obviously love them as much as me. I mean he came from this amazing, heart wonderland.
Even though I am on a heart limitation I still manage to sneak hearts into the house here and there. Last year I found this really, fun, heart garland with hearts made of varying sizes of birch bark, linked on a twine string. Of course I bought it and I hung it on the end of one of our curtain rods. So far it has managed to stay put. I have to admit however that even I do not want a home with hearts decorating every surface possible and I see the value in being more selective with the ones we do acquire. It makes them more special and it also plays into my desire to find things that are unique and original. Anyone can make a symmetrical heart and paint it red. It’s the ones that are a little bit funky, a little bit off-center that really draw my attention. So in the meantime I will look for Valentine’s Day to roll around each year and celebrate it with gusto as I wait for the perfectly imperfect hearts to find their way to me.