Well, you know, being creatures of habit, we fall into ruts. We keep doing the same thing over and over even when it ceases to serve us. I had been in one for a long time, doing my usual routines, thinking my day ‘should’ revolve around work, productivity, writing. I wasn’t sleeping well, was dragging around in my days, eating too much, wondering what happened to my joy in living. Fortunately the insight came to me like a rain (you know what I mean if you live in Southern California) of grace — take some damn time off, you stupid idiot! As soon as the thought came, and I resolved on Tuesday to take the rest of the week off, my heart did a little frisk and leap. I stayed in bed the whole day, reading, playing electronic backgammon, eating, napping. I slept well that night, and the next day being a holiday, too, I had a restful state of mind. The day was so beautiful and warm that I decided to garden. Payson was already there, and gardening together is such a wonderful thing to do around Valentine’s day. All the plants were my Valentines, too! And the birds, and the dove that allowed us to get just a few feet away from it, with its sleek brown body and dark eye. I cleaned out dead leaves, fed the plants, scattered some more beautiful cobbles in the bare space around our tiny pond, and puttered about for hours. I swear the plants and the birds return more than we can ever give to them in food, care, and love. Suffice it to say that I came away from this activity feeling very fulfilled and happy.

So my Valentine wish for my readers is this: May you see and feel the connection with all of nature, with everything around you, bonding with it in a love that will never grow old and never break. We live in our Mother, our breath connects us to the Out There, coming in, going out, coming in again. We are part of a larger whole that keeps and holds us in Love. Love is the glue that binds it all together!

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