Monday, 13 February 2012

Valentine's day

Huddled by the gas cooker at one end of our cabin last night, waiting for the water to heat for our hot water bottles, Hugh and I had a hasty discussion in low voices.
'God, it's Valentine's day tomorrow, have you done anything?'
'No have you?'
'Well,'.... a hesitation...'shall we just... do nothing?'
'Ok, if we both promise.'
'Cool...' we poured the hot water bottles and went to bed, but it felt wierd.

It's not that we usually indulge in lavish displays of gifts and meals out, but we usually make a card and write a poem for each other, and Hugh usually picks some flowers and I might buy some little edible treat to share in the evening. A tangible reminder of our love and appreciation of each other in the midst of the turmoil and rush that our lives can sometimes be. Cutting through the hasty communication and barbed retorts, the rumbling resentments and sniping that it is so easy to fall into, despite our best love and intentions; the Valentines day poem never fails to reach the beautiful core of why we are together, and warms the cold February morning.

I put aside the futile and petty moans about what I think he should or shouldn't be doing and appreciate not only the practical genius of a man that has, after all, almost singlehandedly built our home, but the understanding , encouragement and acceptance he extends to me.
 The man who reminds me, even though its really up to me to organise, that I need to take some time to myself, and look after myself..(my back, my sleep deprivation, need for solitude)
The man who accepted me and two children who weren't his and happily loved them as his own and then loved the two that we produced too! And who lightens a tense moment with craziness and laughter.
The man who has brought so much wisdom and love into our family and works with me as we guide the children through the maze of our life together.
The man who slows down when I speed up to remind me that really, is it that important? (yeah I admit this one is challenging!!)
The man who quietly carries out a myriad of practical chores evey day which easily become invisible until he goes away for a few days...
The man who breaks the rules and breaks out of the constraints of duty and 'shoulds' because that's where the gold is.
The man who loves me...

But now we've agreed....we've just moved, we're still struggling with water and toilet issues and a multitude of practical  (more on this next post Laurel, promise) we're both really busy, do we really have time to create beautiful poetry  before bed?

So we woke up today in a very ordinary way, and I came to town to write in a cafe where there is power, and I suddenly realise that Valentine's day is tomorrow! We got the day wrong! It's not today.
Now what?
Better get writing.......


  1. I hope you both have a wonderful valentines day, whatever you decide to do. As for my husband(oh I do love saying that word, as we are newly weds that have been together nearly 13 years) and I we will give each other a small card containing a few words of love.
    I can't remember if I have posted on your beautiful blog before but wanted to say what an inspiration you and your lovely family are :)
    Love and light, Sue x

    1. Thankyou Sue and glad you are here, congratulations! My partner and I have been together for 7 and a half years, and engaged for 3, when we finally get hitched,I'm gonna feel the same as you no doubt!

  2. Better or worse? I know the dates, Valentines day 14th, sons 3rd birthday 15th, only for some reason I thought they were Wednesday and Thursday, I even invited someone over on Thursday for Oscar's birthday. I have a mountain of crafting to finish a day earlier for each day, and definitely no time to be on the Internet :S

    1. Funny eh? Something odd in the air this week to throw us all awry! Hope you had some lovely celebrations.

  3. what a beautiful post and a wonderful reminder of all the things that truly matter in a relationship... I hope you got to write your poem :-)

    1. You know what, I didn't, Hugh was very touched by the post and declared it his valentine..but we shared a lovely supper ALONE!

  4. Dear Henrietta,
    I am just proofing the spring issue of JUNO - this is, I think, the third time I have read your article "Life after Lily" - once again the tears are rolling down my cheeks - with the tragedy, your insight, your wisdom, the beauty of the animal totems which came your way, the agony of being a mother and knowing that at any moment it could all change for ever.

    I am sure you will love the article - it has been so beautifully illustrated by our illustrator, Veronika Petrie- I am sure you will treasure it.

    Love to you, dear mama.

  5. Henrietta, I don't know if you wrote the poem, but surely this blog post stands as testament to your beautiful love for your man. I hope he has had a chance to read it. xxx


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