For you a motto I have found,
And one I think that suits;
Almost afraid to send it round,
I tremble in my boots.
I think you are a pretty miss,
So whats the harm to send a kiss?
As a child I always loved Valentines Day. In my day each child was asked to bring a shoebox to school in order to decorate for the big Valentines day card exchange and party. Each of us meticulously crafted our box, placed a slit in the top and waited. I would race home tear the box open and gleefully look in each envelope. Back then only the occasional Valentine had a candy treat tucked inside. Most were handmade with craft paper, glitter and glue. The sentiments were always lovely and sweet (much sweeter than some of the boys who gave them) and I secretly stashed them in my closet for months pulling them out from time to time to read and admire. As an adult I still become giddy at the thought of receiving a Valentine. Unfortunately it seems most of us believe it has been reserved only for children and newly weds. What a shame. In our fast pace world of the Internet and impersonal communication the hand written note or Valentine has all but vanished leaving us to receive our love notes via text message. They say that the "Golden Age of Valentines" was between the years of 1840 - 1860, this is when the printing technology or chromolithography was perfected allowing an astonishing assortment of beautiful printed designs known as "chromos" to be produced. Victorians loved them and mailed them to one another by the thousands. Have we lost our love of the handwritten note? I think not. Whenever I open my mailbox and begin thumbing through the post I skip the advertisements and bills until my eyes catch a glimpse of a pudgy little white envelope, hand addressed and sealed with love. Happy is the day when I receive a heart felt thank you note or written invitation. Let's not forget the power of the hand penned sentiment. People love to collect vintage Valentines and gaze upon the time weathered images and I am no exception. I am always in awe of these tokens of affection and their beautiful images which were only limited by the senders imagination, not to mention the impeccable penmanship that once was considered a mark of your good upbringing. There is a longing inside me to return to a time when life seemed slower, richer, fuller. Gazing upon a Victorian Valentine is to return for at least a moment to a more romantic era. To hold one today, as fragile as a dream, is to know, as the nineteenth-century poet Katherine Lee Bates did, "Old love is gold love, old love,the best"