The salutation for my Soundings letter never felt more appropriate, following on the Valentine-bombardment. I’m very touched. I spent a couple of hours opening and savoring them on my day off last Wednesday, thinking: ‘Love is the spirit of this church.’
The first one I opened included a copy of a college essay written for Tufts University, which, by the way, was founded by Universalists. Dylan’s essay is on the back of this page — what better Valentine could I possibly get as I move toward my retirement date?
There were several cards from your secret admirer; a Valentine’s Day tradition. There were lots of home-made cards and many cards with drawings and poems. There were expressions of appreciation that touched me deeply. For example:
“There are some special people who make me smile a little bigger, care a little deeper… and believe a little more in the goodness of life – special people like you. Or, “Lives are filled with happiness when hearts are filled with love.”
There were lots of Charlie Brown cards that said things like: “When I count my blessings I always think of you.” Or, “I was trying to make you the perfect Valentine, but you are the perfect Valentine.” In another the Cowardly Lion says, “I changed my mind, I want a heart, too,” as the Tin Man happily eats chocolates from a heart-shaped box. Another has Piglet ask Pooh, “How do you spell ‘Love?’ Pooh replies, “I don’t have to spell it, I feel it.”
A talking card shows a rabbit taking a chocolate from someone else’s box; the front of the card says,“Finally, a way to stop people from taking your Valentine candy.” When you open the card a siren sounds and an authoritative voice says, “Put the candy down—now!—and step away from the box!”
A hand-written note says, “I know I am a better person because of you.” Another says, “You have made a difference in my life.” Two had quotes from Emerson: “The earth laughs in flowers,” and “If eyes were made for seeing, then beauty is its own excuse for being.”
One is cut out in the shape of a pig wearing a quiver filled with heart-shaped arrow heads and says,“Look! It’s Cupig!” The hand-written note says, “I’ll stop loving, appreciating. respecting, caring for you when pigs fly!” Another shows a huge flock of pink flamingoes and one bright orange bird standing in the middle of the flock and the caption says, “There’s you, and then everybody else.”
There were cards made by children, and there were cards from a few who only very recently started coming to the church: “I have only been to a handful of UU services, having just moved here from California in August. But what an awesome handful. I feel as if I’ve truly returned ‘home.’’My heart overflows with appreciation and affection for you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!