I was listening to JBCCS early-morning radio and there was an interesting homegrown song about love, which in many ways, reflects the mood at this time of year. Holiday wise, it’s just a few days past Groundhog Day, who, incidentally, emerged on a stormy cloudy day, and the thankful forecast calling for spring, soon. Since that little varmint is now basking in chest-high snowbanks (at least in the south where the groundhog is a revered animal), the next holiday happens to be the one that wins or loses hearts. Yes, I’m talking about Valentine’s Day. Ahh, the romance and chocolate… and more chocolate.

But, whoever does take this day seriously, Valentine’s Day used to be the day when anyone could literally take that chance and announce their love openly, in crowded stadiums for some lonely hearts and for others, in privacy. No matter which way it is expressed, love seems to have more oomph when applied on the day of hearts.

Take for example, Valentino – who today would probably be in jail for a long time for just being Valentino. He personified endless love lyrics in the public eye. Privately, it was campy romps when no one was looking to literally hundreds of maidens (that’s what women were referred to in Europe before any real human laws came along) during his short lifespan on earth. Since his untimely death from various venereal diseases, this day – honouring perhaps who may have been the only lover of his time – is now right up there with Halloween. It is placed in this category because you don’t get any paid leave, like you do with Christmas and Easter. Perhaps, one day in the future, love will finally get its legal status and official holiday.

Closer to home, Valentine hearts appear magically in stores immediately after Christmas and love is promoted until no one cares. What happened to the good old surprise of true love when it’s in your face for weeks already? At least in school, the meaning of Valentine’s Day is taught and hand-crafted hearts brought home by the kids always mean more than the short-lived lip-licking taste of chocolate.

Today, popular duets like “Love is like Poutine”, originated from Wemindji, tells us that we are not a heartless bunch. We always express our love daily, using today’s technology. For example, Facebooking, JBCCS to make announcements and play requests to loved ones happen every day. Karaoke (does anyone still do this?) songs are almost all love songs, Jukeboxes belt out love songs. In fact, there is love everywhere you look in communities. Sometimes, I’d turn up my nose to all the bad news bears I hear, because bad news is just that, bad news. However, when someone puts their heart into their work, job, family, friends, school… you can see the love.

Sometimes, I think that we need more than love to get by, but life without love just doesn’t cut it in a world without love. I know that this may seem corny, but we are a lucky people with good governments based on strong values which allows love to grow, in any form or fashion. I’d rather be able to tell someone you love them without having to go to jail or get hanged or stoned to death by your neighbours, who ironically, you have to love, no matter what. Or be able to simply vote for the person you’d love to see as president or prime minister, chief or anyone you have to choose as leader.

Whichever way turns you on about Valentine’s Day, make sure that the true meaning of love is involved somehow, or it’s the doghouse for those unlucky dudes out there!