Best Beloveds

My favorite cards are those that bear an image of the giver…hand-cut, perhaps, with scrawls of crayon or heaps of glitter…or with words, carefully chosen from someplace deep inside.

In honor of the day, a few words…hand cut Valentines, if you will…for my best beloveds. And a question: What are the words your best beloveds need to hear from you? Words only you can give them? They do not have to be flowery or fancy. They need only be yours.

Mike my love for you is an Old Vine Zinfandel, the yield of gnarled vines much twisted by the wind, and irrevocably entwined by the many years of growing into one another. The grapes…crushed and bruised and left to rest, ferment and age, forming an intoxicating nectar. Rich, delicious, warm, potent, lively. I drink to you today, best beloved. Salud!

Kelsey my love for you is a warm frothy cappuccino, sipped slowly at an outdoor cafe in Salzburg. Its dark bitterness, the depths of you which must be sought out, deep calling to deep. And the rich softness of the cream, your tenderness, your gift for seeing the unseen, your generosity of spirit. I look forward to a lifetime of lingers with you, best beloved.

Jake, my love for you is a box of dark chocolate truffles. Even now I can see your face as you savor. Everything. Wonderful food, a glorious sunset, a painting that pierces to your depths. And music. So much music. Thank you for long talks, profound ponderings, and for extravagant love. I treasure you, best beloved.

Joshua, my love for you is ice cream with syrups and candies and sprinkles, served in an elegant stemmed bowl at a table set just so. It is all curiosity and celebration. It is making things grand and lovely. It is enthusiasm and creativity and joie de vivre. You are an inestimable gift to me, best beloved.

Kenzie, my love for you is a bowl of ripe berries. So sweet it almost hurts. You are everything fresh and wild and springtime and delight and new. Happy first Valentines Day, best beloved! God grant you many more.

Happy Valentines Day to all of you, my friends! I am grateful for you. May you have the courage to love boldly and extravagantly, and to give yourself away, today and every day.