In Honor of Valentine’s Day



Young people don’t know

What love is.

They think they know

But what they see is passion, or the shadow of love

Or the promise of love.


Passion is a pinch of black powder set off with a match.

It’s there and it’s gone.

It doesn’t depend on anything but a chemical interaction.

Oxygen, fuel…and heat.


And young people see the shadow of love all around them.

In movies, in their parents, and in fables.

It’s a framework, an image of something they can’t understand

Because they haven’t been there.


Love is a promise in their minds, a possibility.

Something to hope for, but something they don’t really understand.


Because love is a lifetime.

It’s early morning risings with a sick child.

It’s pledges, and arguments, and making up time and time again.

It’s learning to live with a stranger and making that stranger into your soulmate.

It’s bills, and tears. It’s hopes and fears. It’s challenges and years.

It’s more than passion.

Passion is a flame. Love is a cathedral.