Mood of the Month: ROMANCE
Happy February, the month of Romance!
When we think of February, what comes to mind is Valentine’s day. Valentine’s day has become a commercial holiday steering away from its true meaning. We feel an urgency to buy flowers, chocolate, gift cards, and share romantic dinners with lovers. It is also a day of expectation and can be a reminder for those of us who might not have a romantic partner in our lives. Romance does not have to only be with lovers. Romance in its purest form is love, and love is everywhere around us. Use this day to celebrate the love we do have in our lives for parents, children, friends, our community and of life itself. On this day of romance, take the time to do something for someone you care about. It does not have to cost money. It can be as simple as sending a card, making a phone call or doing a kind act of appreciation.
In researching the history of why February has a long tradition of celebrating romance, I was surprised to discover that the roots are in an ancient Roman fertility festival called Lupercalia, which celebrated early spring, fertility, ancestors, and love. It also is inspired by a man named Valentine, who in the 3rd century AD was thought to have been a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius II. He was executed on Feb. 14th. Legend has it that Valentine wrote a letter before his death to a woman and signed it from your Valentine. Valentine is known as the patron saint of lovers.
Of course, Valentine’s day is also a day we can splurge for chocolate. Try some of these recipes
for your loved ones, or just yourself! Calories don’t count! Martha Stewart Chocolate soufflé,
Barefoot Contessa Chocolate Crème Brulee, and my favorite, Profiteroles from Barefoot Contessa.
While it is wonderful to be on the receiving end of romance, the real joy is in the giving. Love is a feeling and an act. Carry on the tradition of this month of romance with heart and sincerity!
Finally, be inspired by and take action for a cause on Social Equality Justice day on February 20th. This is a day recognizing the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment.
Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Bishop