Hello, Ebube here! It’s Valentine’s day or season(depending on when this goes out) and firstly, if you’re a single Nigerian, I am so sorry. I’m sorry about all the attention this holiday has brought to you. From the violent notifications, the kind ones, the co-worker's boyfriend who has sent pararan to the office. I sincerely apologize, especially if any of these have triggered you or reminded you of pain. Know that there is nothing wrong with you (that is not fixable), you are lovely, lovable, and loved. Amen? Amen.
How February 14th became the universal love day is still unclear. One account says Saint Valentine performed weddings for Christian soldiers who were forbidden to marry. According to another tradition, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his jailer. Embellishments have been added to this account claiming he wrote the jailer’s daughter a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution. Throughout the 14th and 15th centuries, the day became associated with romance as the concept of courtly love gained more attention. In 18th-century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by sending flowers, confectionery, and exchanging greeting cards. Present-day symbols of Valentine’s Day include the heart-shaped outline, and the color red. Since the 19th century, handwritten cards, known as Valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.
In 2021, Josh Wardle, a software engineer created the now-viral word game, Wordle for his partner, Palak Shah. He and Ms. Shah got interested in playing Spelling Bee and the Daily crossword puzzle by the New York Times, so he wanted to come up with a game that she would enjoy.
Naturally, my first reference of love will be my parents, who celebrate 25 years of marriage tomorrow. It has been delightful to watch them make and stick to decisions together, cover up for each other’s excesses and make light of whatever cannot be controlled. I think of my late dog too. Oscar died of a broken artery. He had a spot by the gate where he will dutifully sit each night, attacking whatever dared to veer into our compound, be it human, and one time the unfortunate chicken from the neighbor's house that was seeking an escape route. And even when he grew weak and we couldn’t make out what was wrong with him, he always made his way to the gate, gallantly, an esteemed warrior. One morning, having served till his very last breath, we found him lifeless, still in position.
Love is possibly the best experience a human can have and communicate. Love makes all things bearable. In his love letters, King Solomon says:
Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man would offer all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned and despised — Songs of Solomon 8:7
Love is giving people the grace and space to grow, love is anticipating someone else’s needs and providing for them, love is being excited for their progress as though it were yours, love is never demeaning, love does not stunt on people or seek them out for self-centered gain, love is forgiving before you are offended, many times more than you are offended, love is forgetting you were offended, Love stays regardless of what comes, love looks for the best in others and gently disapproves what is wrong, love grows stronger in spite of adversity. Love never derails.
I hope you have an amazing love day.