HEDWIG LEWIS SJ
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Across the gateway of my heart
Hi guys and gals! Hi sweethearts! Hi lovers and beloveds! Here’s a Valentine’s Day "treasure" for all of you. To begin with, over a score of exciting love-stories (adapted and re-told from diverse sources) will make your hearts go thump-thump-thump. Each of them captures the essential spirit of and provides the proper mood for the romantic Love-Fest!
My love’s pure, my love’s
Next comes that interesting part for those with curious minds. The middle section of A Valentine’s day Treasury supplies the answers to most of the questions people ask about the little-known facts and often vaguely interpreted origins, symbols, customs, and what-not of the festival. Extensively informative material. This "Potpourri" also presents the modern scenario of Lovers’ Day!
Love was just a word
Don’t fall in love – rise in love!
The Rosy Rendezvous / Star-crossed Lovers / A Modest Proposal / True Love / Seeing with the Heart / The Token of Love / Labour of Love / Saying it like it is /The Love Seeker / The Illusory Lover / The Vagaries of Love / The Wonderful Lovers/ The Mirror of Love / Love’s Tentacles / Love Gaps / Flowers for the Deserving
The second part is a "potpourri" of assorted items pertaining to the Day. It deals with such topics as : Origins - Symbols - Tokens - Popular Lore - Expressions of Love - Bonanza
The third part appeals to the heart, the emotional side of the festival. It focuses on the main highlights of Valentine’s Day: "Love" and "Roses". There is a collection of a variety of items: poetry, legends, missives, quotes....
All in all, in keeping with its title, the
book is truly a "treasury" that entertains, instructs and charms.
Not until you have gone through the rocky gorges and not lost the stream; not until you have gone through the meadow, and the stream has widened and deepened until fleets could ride on its bosom; not until beyond the meadow you have come to the unfathomable ocean, and poured your treasures into its depths – not until then can you know what love is.
"Do you love me with all
your heart and soul?"
The Origin of the Rose
Ancient mythologies – both Roman and Greek, illustrate the origins of the Rose, which has always been honoured as the ‘queen of flowers’.
Flora, the goddess of all flowers, was once walking in the woods when she encountered a woman, beautiful beyond compare, but looking lost and forlorn. so Flora decided to transform her into a rare and unique flower.
To set about her task, Flora sought the cooperation of all the gods at Olympia. She asked her husband Zephyrs – the west wind, to clear the sky of the rain-soaked clouds that loomed there. She instructed Apollo, the sun, to send down rays of warm benediction that would engulf the delicate being. Further, she appealed to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, to bestow beauty, joy, and charm on this most exquisite creature. And to crown it all, she persuaded Dionysus, the goddess of wine, to enhance its loveliness with fragrance and nectar. Flora then collected freshly fallen dewdrops to give it life!
Her task done, Flora was so touched by her creation that she invited all the goddesses and gods to come admire her work. Everyone unanimously declared that this was the ‘queen’ of all flowers. Flora felt very proud of her achievement. She recruited the services of Aurora (goddess of dawn) and Iris (goddess of the rainbow and messenger of existence over all the earth) to make known the new flower's existence over all the earth.
To accomplish her task, Aurora worked a magic spell. With the hue of the rose she painted the morning sky as well as dyed the forests and waters where the ‘lesser gods’ – the nymphs, or beautiful maidens dwelled. On her part, Iris borrowed only a tinge of the colour of the petals of the new flower to add a certain brilliance to her rainbows.
The credit for naming the flower, of course, goes to Aphrodite. To honour her son Eros, the Greek god of love, Aphrodite juggled with the word EROS itself, transposing the first letter to the last place to get ROSE, thus intermingling love and roses!
Flora then presented the rose to Eros,
earnestly desiring that it would always be the choice of lovers and the symbol
The rose was the favourite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. That is perhaps the reason why the rose is a full of symbolism and significance for lovers. Even the leaves of the rose carry meaning as the symbol of hope.
Roses come in varied colours. Each colour conveys a conventional message. Take the following examples:
Red is a colour that stands for strong feelings. Red roses are the most popular because they loudly proclaim: "I love you". Pink roses indicate "you’re gentle and graceful," while deep pink says "thank you." White usually speaks of purity and innocence, or may say "I am worthy of you," "you're heavenly" or may denote secrecy and silence. A coral or orange rose denotes enthusiasm or desire. Yellow shouts joy or happiness.
There is a growing trend toward sending a bouquet of roses which includes a mix of colours. This makes it easy to bunch several ‘messages’ together – through the language of roses. A red rose and a white rose tied together with a ribbon, or one with red and white petals in the same rose, signifies unity or togetherness. Pastel colours generally convey friendship. In the seventeenth century, a daughter of Henry IV of France gave a party in honour of St Valentine. Each lady received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the man chosen as her valentine.
Western Tradition has attributed special significance to the ‘number’ of roses that are presented on Valentine’s Day. For example those who have been with their significant others for three weeks, five years, or have been married for ten, accordingly select a gift of three, five or ten roses to celebrate the occasion. Two roses that are taped together to form a single stem tell of an engagement or coming marriage.
Males who are sensitive enough use roses to make a Valentine’s Day memorable and meaningful. For instance, when they take their ‘sweetheart’ to dinner, they send a rose corsage for her to wear; they also arrange for a rose bouquet to be placed on the table reserved at the restaurant where they dine. These gestures give clear evidence of the special relationship that they share with each other.
personalize their gifts by
attaching roses to them, be it a Valentine’s engagement ring, or airline
tickets for a romantic holiday, or keys to a new car!
Excerpts from Reviews
In this attractively brought out booklet Hedwig tells us about the origin of the festival, its spirit and the mood in which one is called to enjoy the day. And, of course, there’s a goodly collection from various sources of love stories and anecdotes, poems, and brief humorous quotes. Believe it or not: there is information for computer junkies about the ‘sites’ around the world promoting a world-wide Valentine’s Day party.
The Table of contents can be used as a quick reference to what one wishes to find and comes in three sections: I. The Spirit of Valentine’s Day; II. Valentine’s Day Potpourri; III. Valentine’s Day Inspiration. The third section comes with its brand of humour, inviting us to a serious consideration of the theme of love.
A fine attempt to give special brilliance
to the grand festival of the young and old on February 14.
February 5, 2000
Valentine's day and the interaction between adolescent and young lovers are judged to be part of cultural colonization.... The author again has provided a readable and useful book for young people and gathered much wisdom and thrown light on a festival of lovers which is becoming part of the life of young people in urban India and which can promote the process of growth and maturity. Vidyajyoti, March 2001
Valentine’s Day! Lovers’ Festival! Cards, Roses, Gifts...! A lovely event that provides a superb occasion, an excellent opportunity for ‘sweethearts’ to renew promises, profess deeper love, celebrate togetherness, and exchange tokens of friendship.
A Valentine’s Day Treasury seeks to capture the "spirit" of Valentine’s Day. A score and more of heart-warming love-stories set the proper mood for the festivities. A "potpourri" of interesting data reveal little-known facts that surround the festival. Humorous anecdotes add gaiety, and inspirational quotes provide pep and depth, to the celebrations. This book is a ‘treasure’ that you – and the loved ones you present it to – will cherish and preserve for years to come! (Back cover)