“One day in October, Burdock comes on heat.

This means that she is ready to mate.  She rubs Toby’s head. Toby sniffs her and curls his top lip as he smells the air. After a  while, they mate.”

The previous is an excerpt from the middle of a children’s picture book I didn’t proofread before bringing to a private English tutoring session with a nine year old.  We were going through the book, about life on a farm, and underlining words that she didn’t understand. Until we reached the page that included the words “Burdock, ‘on heat’, and mate.” (Right, Burdock wouldn’t have been hard to explain, but it’s a bizarre word, even if it is a name.)  I skimmed ahead and announced that the book was too thick (it was), and we were stopping. Not in my job description. Also, who uses the preposition “on” when referring to heat? I always thought an animal was “in” heat. Weird Scandinavian children’s authors with their sex content and odd phrasing.

A similar looking book, I couldn't find the one I used.

So, this hasn’t been the loveliest intro to a Valentine’s Day blog post, but at least sheep mating is semi-related to love. (Notice their loving connection: she rubs his head, he sniffs her. After a while (bowling alley trips, dinner dates, long talks,) they mate. Very romantic.

I’ve never been a Valentine’s Day hater.  This is the first year that I’ve actually had a Valentine, but I’ve never been one of the Singles Awareness Day folks.  I would write a piece on this, but it’s already been written, so if you’re curious check out the link.  If you’re too lazy, here’s a pull quote:

I know that every day should be about romance, that the calendar shouldn’t have to remind my boyfriend and me to take some time out and remember that we adore each other. (Yeah, it’s saccharine, but true.) But our calendars are filled with dates that remind us to spend time on something—holidays that encourage us to spend time with family and to remember religious tradition; birthdays to celebrate each person’s “cosmic specialness,” as a friend of mine likes to say. What’s wrong with Valentine’s Day fitting into that? Sometimes we do need a reminder to take time out and acknowledge each other.

–Tori Bosch

And hey, if you’re super bummed about V-day, remember that in Sweden, there’s a group of people who celebrate “All broken hearts day.”

Here’s the ultimate Valentine’s Day photo:

And a cute article about it.

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Use it as an occasion to recognize and express all the love that’s in your life.

Love always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.

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