February, our hearts aglow; we halt the further unveiling of our bundles-and leave them at the door. A time to marvel, to thaw, to contemplate- in-between the crystallized remnants of winter and the first signs of spring-we are wrapped in a velvet time warp between dreams and waking; things hidden will soon foretell; a white statue of Adonis winks. In the center of the table a box of dark chocolates and a vase of roses adorn
the white linen.
From shadowy school days, we smile at the thought of nearly perfect hearts cut out of red construction paper- pasted on snowflake white doilies. All of you children rejoice, the smallest to the tall, gangly or invisible, for whatever your lot, in-spite of the fickle sentiments of others, rest assured you will not get overlooked
on that special day- today no-one notices freckles; for at the end of the day your shoe box or brown paper bag will be full of valentines, and pastel candy hearts uttering sweet forget- me- not’s’!
A shadow like that of a sprite plays upon the hearth-was it Cupid or just a rebirth of an old ghost?
In the pale gold, a host of real and imaginary lovers cry out. Some are in chains, some just arch-types etched into the clay of our own 1940’s ideals. Some are waiting in secret-in the rose mist, just hidden from view by the vine edged columns, as their shadows dance upon cobble stone corridors-pining to merge into one with their soul mates; in the dance called love, passion and purity become one. A flamingo pink flashes on the horizon- Snow Cherubs wait at the gates where babies who didn’t quite make it to their childhood on earth are ushered back in, on tiny angel wings. An image forms in the clouds, as imagination flows, whipped cream white, castle like, as days grow in length- lavender streaks the Northern skies, and stars pierce the cold black.
In a fleeting glimpse of a beautiful sunset, February speaks to us, and represents itself. The barren holes where furry, busy creatures played are covered with winters brown and frost- premonitions of blossoms, mauve, cherry, and white, float beneath the earth, as in watery vaults, waiting for the time of their rebirth. Angels in white feathered form or dressed in the common threads of man, flit and hover, from all the corners of the earth-February, our hearts again opening, giving tribute to Valentino, to birds in flight forming a straight black arrow-in the silver slant of the morning light, mirrors the silver of the birch trees – at last is our salute to the flaming crimson heart –as on wings it takes flight and carries the songs of lovers for all times, the gifts of starry skies, music boxes with tiny skaters on mirrored glass ponds, and the collective pool of tears from earnest, broken love-sick and contrite hearts.
February, our heart’s now thawing from January’s bleakness and chill. With curiosity, we rub out a spot on the fogged window to see our neighbor in his glory and plight- and the dividing shrubbery is blurred in our memories of good will once again. A few yards away a fence was knocked down by a storm, (again), but in the spirit of new beginnings, the fellows, young and old, work together to repair it again. The wives cheer them on, with mugs of hot coffee.
A dog’s yelp can be heard, echoing a hallmark sentiment-children riding scooters warm us with the return of their high pitched laughter, and free spirits. The gap between generations narrows-the mitten clad lad of the fifties whirls around corners at high speeds on roller skates; in the regeneration, of his species, though his DNA is unique, somehow his spirit is engineered into the spirit of a happy faced modern day boy-with an electronic box in hand, twittering a friend.
A trickle of ice melts the heart, and we smile and nod, as if coming out of a long winter dream. We note how the grass has grown, and pools of rainwater leading down to the gutters are timely reminders, of how seasons change and turn color, and than die like the leaves-and than one day, like Lazarus, they rise, the ashen bedclothes fall off, and spring is born again! They enhance us and all the earth around us.
The old man across the street is coming out of hiding, tending to his garden soon to be green with Spring- time rains. The corners of his mouth set like a straight grim line in a face of stone are turning upward. Though he does not speak to nary a soul, if he could but speak I know what this old Irish man would say; “Ah, me thinks its going to be a wonderful day.”
Cynthia Lamanna may be reached at email@example.com – and would love the chance to talk with other writers and artists!