One of my favorite memories of teaching high school kidlets is Valentine's Day. You'd think that sixteen year olds would have given up the desire to give silly cards away to their classmates. One expects elementary school youngsters to enjoy the process, but teen agers?
One's expectations might be plain wrong. I recall with delight the laughter and joy as creativity reigned. No longer were the shared missives punched out of a paper full of designs and clumsily signed on the back. Teen sharing often illustrated the irony and pun making attributes of students. They were the sort of art that no one took for granted and stuffed away until Mom cleaned the bedroom and tossed. These works of art ended up next to the mirror or propped up on dresser tops as remembrances of friendship present and past. One of these art works graces my bathroom wall — a delightful melody of color matted in white with a purple frame.
And so it is, that Valentine's Day has arrived in Australia and we two will celebrate with a movie and afternoon tea in one of our local outdoor cafes. It is good to be old these days. All body parts work marginally well, our brains have not yet deteriorated into mush, and our enjoyment of a piece of film will give us conversation well into the evening. Our love has matured a bit; but still the first sight of the man in my life brings a smile to my eyes and our shared first coffee each morning is still an invitation for our first kiss of the day.
I read the other day that many of us, according to some academic's study, grow happier with life as we grow older. I am here to assure that researcher that s/he is correct. I love that the planet is my home, not simply some portion thereof. I love that I can flee winter to enjoy an extended summer. I love the man with whom I share my life. We are wealthy in spirit and that counts the most. We must be sure our bodies keep up—all knees, shoulder, hips, and elbows continue to twist and shift; all organs continue to cleanse, filter, and move properly, and we will be celebrating Valentine's Day for quite some time to come.