Last year at this time I wrote a bit about the history of Lupercalia in this Drunk and Naked and Running Wild post, which, given the title, I later realized might bring in more creepy keyword hits than I'd prefer. But it wasn't the case at all. Nope. Turns out that nothing ropes in blog traffic here at SS more than a man caves search. I almost wish I'd never written that post.
Yesterday, I researched the origins of the heart shape as a symbol of the human heart, love and Valentine's Day and pulled up several anecdotes, but I scrapped the idea. I thought about posting this poem by Gaius Valerius Catullus, but scrapped that too.
What I really needed was a walk.
So, I marched down the slope of our backyard, through the woods, and along the stream in hopes of finding a naturally occurring heart somewhere in the water-washed stones or the brush or the tangled branches. It was no easy task in February, when we're long past (or presently looking forward to) blooming catalpas and bleeding hearts. I'd nearly given up when I turned to head back toward the house and noticed the shape of a heart six or seven feet up in an odd looking four pronged tree. Although it may appear, from the above photo, that the heart was carved into the tree, it was not. It's completely organic, formed naturally in the tree's bark. That's my Valentine's Day gift, I thought.
When I got back to the house, I heard Max (for any new readers who haven't been introduced, Max is my 14 year old son) playing his guitar but I didn't recognize the tune. Max, who's highly resistant to lessons of any kind, had been teaching himself a couple of Aerosmith songs (ouch) on the electric guitar (ouch) he got for Christmas, but what I heard was acoustic. I went up to his room, phone in hand, and listened as he played his old classical guitar. He'd composed the melody himself, he said, it was a work in progress, but he wasn't sure if he might have stolen it, he'd heard something similar, he thought.
So I recorded it on my phone. And after hours of trying to figure out how the heck to embed audio on my blog, this is your Valentine's Day gift: