Marvins Window: A good day to say 'I love you'

I watched this morning as a group of four cupids flew past my window in perfect formation.

They spilt the formation and each did concentric loops in the form of hearts, each heart larger than the previous one.

I wondered if they were as cold as they looked.

Flying in the cold morning air wearing only a diaper looked like a chilly endeavor to me!

Then, the four cupids peeled out of the hearts and headed right for my window.

Each one reached for an arrow from the quiver carried on his or her shoulder.

I could see that the arrows would be loaded in the bows in their hands by the time my window was reached.

I jumped into a closet just in time!

When I sneaked out of the closet and peeked out my window over an hour later, they were gone.

I sighed in relief.

I like Valentine's Day and I am a romantic at heart.

Flowers, Valentine's Day cards and special candlelight dinners to celebrate the occasion with that special person fit my style.

But, who can tell what might happen if all four of those arrows from cupid should find their mark! I am not a control freak, but I like to think I have some control of my life (very little actually) and who knows what chain of events even one of cupid's arrows might initiate.

I turned on my computer to do a little research.

It is commonly accepted in most quarters that the February 14 activities celebrate St.

Valentine's Day and is a Christian holiday from Western Europe.

History may record as many as two St.

Valentines, but seems to agree that both lost their heads somewhere in the first or second century after running afoul of a power mad dictator.

In 496, Pope Gelasius I named the day of the death of one or both, February 14, as St.

Valentine's Day.

The day was taken off liturgical church calendars some years ago.

With that action, the uncertain origins and the general secular acceptance of the holiday, designation as a Christian holiday seems to stretch reality a bit.

Another legend holds that Valentine's Day is based in an old English belief that birds chose their mates on that day, February 14.

But, then the English calendar had the date as February 28.

Are you as confused as the birds were?

Still another historical source takes Valentines Day back to the Roman festival of "Lupercalia" when young men whipped young women with strips of animal hide to ensure protection from wolves and increase the fertility of the young women.

This particular version of history did not indicate weather the wolves were the two- or four-legged kind.

Esther Howland produced the first American valentines in the 1840s and sold $5,000 dollars worth the first year.

Hallmark figured out that valentines were a great deal for them- and all other card companies.

Estimates place today's valentine card numbers at a little over one billion.

Only Christmas cards are better for card companies and the U.S.

Post Office.

Sweethearts come second in the card race, according to the industry.

Parents receive one of every five cards sent.

Teachers, children, wives and sweethearts round out the top five.

Don't blame me for separating wives and sweethearts-I did not do the survey!

Women purchase 85 percent of the cards.

Mostly the men buy the millions of boxes of chocolates and bouquets of roses.

An account of the day with a Saudi dateline from another paper described sales of the same valentine items in that country.

Young folks buy the traditional items well ahead of the holiday or go to the black market to pay much higher prices because the local authorities ban the "Western love" idea.

Poets are popular on Valentine's Day.

Lord Byron wrote, "She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."

I intended to include some poetic words of my own, but those are reserved for a less public venue and a special individual.

(And I really can write them!)

Valentine's Day is a time to tell others of all ages that you do care.

If we all did that more often, it could become a habit that would make great changes in the world.

At the very least, some people will be able to break down some of their individual "hang ups" about expressing love for one another.

Valentine's Day gives each of us a great reason for letting other know we are capable of caring.

It is really a stretch to expect that special person in your life to know your feelings if you never express them.

I heard an expression some years ago that fits too many people.

In a counseling session for married couples, an old farmer was asked how often he told his wife that he loved her.

"I told her that I love her when I married her," he replied.

"When I change my mind, I will let her know."

I am sure that concept does not fit anyone who reds this column!

Spread a lot of caring this day and tell that special person in your life just how much you love him or her.

Happy Valentine's Day!