Snow for Valentine’s Day

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13 NIV

Ten years ago, my niece asked me to read these words at her wedding. My father would have been the one to give this reflection but with his passing a few months before, the honour had been given to me.

As I practiced reciting the words, my anxiety increased. How could I replace the calm eloquence that emanated from his voice? How would I be able to read without a flow of tears? My grief was still fresh.

And then the day came. My niece was radiant and filled with anticipation as she took a step into her future. With family and friends gathered around, it was my turn to stand before the audience to read the definition of love.

And then something happened – something that reminded me of my father. The microphone did not work, even as I tapped it for a sound. How many times had my Father worked with technology that went astray?

When the “sound” came back, the words came as if my Father stood beside me, reciting the well known and beloved words together.

Love does not end when there has been a farewell or a parting. It remains within us, integrated with memories that come to mind of events and milestones. Love remembers the advice that was given, the decisions made together and those marvelous moments of community.

Faith, hope and love remain, but the greatest is these is love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

71 Thoughts

    1. I felt that I had travelled to your side of the world, Elisabeth. There is a crispness in the air that invigorates the spirit. Every one was out with their cell phone cameras. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comments, Martina. The ideas of love and belonging have been especially vivid over the past months. I spoke with my brother Brian, yesterday, who said that what we took for granted, like meeting a friend for coffee, or speaking to someone in a grocery lineup, has become what we miss most. Social connection is a ubiquitous concept, so we don’t think about it until it is curtailed. I cherish all the waves from afar and the conversations that take place from a wide distance. And I especially enjoy our conversations, Martina!

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      1. Good morning Rebecca, I am of the opinion that we from our world have all been very spoilt by being for years able to do many of the things we wanted to and so I quite agree with your brother. Now this period has brought us to a halt, made us reflect and also enjoy the healthy change of subjects we are interested in and so build some kind of precious community! Many thanks, Rebecca, for your friendship:) Stay healthy Martina

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    1. I was just over to John’s photos for Valentine’s Day. So much love contained in his post. It seems that St. Valentine and Serendipity came together to blanket us all in snow. A perfect time for cocoa. Sending hugs and more hugs to the two of you!

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      1. Indeed xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rebecca. The shops here have been quite difficult and so has the snow this last week. BUT as you say it has all come together for us . All love to you an all of yours. xxxx

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  1. Thank you so much, dear Rebecca, for such strong words on Love and your wonderful memory. And yes; the snow is beautiful, though, we have a huge heap of it since last Sunday, and now it is not so bad if it begins to leave. 😅 I wish you a wonderful Valentin’s day and a safe start in the new week.💖🥰 Aladin.

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    1. Thank you, dear friend for your visit and comments – so very much appreciated. I just was over at your place and saw the photos of your snow. Lovely!!! Looking forward to another week of possibilities!!

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    1. I am delighted you joined me on the Vancouver Seawall, Klausbernd. Everyone was out with their masks and it was great to see all the waves from afar. The cell phone cameras were out in force. Now, my niece is a mother of two, a team leader in health care, and a personal training coach. When I look back, so much happened in 10 years without realizing it during the days that were lived. My father was a minister and had said these words many times before so I was thrilled to be his representative. Enjoying the snow while it lasts until the warm weather comes to wake up the earth. Sending hugs and love to my dear friends The Fab Four of Cley!!!!

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      1. I agree, Liz! Dina’s photography is superb and capture the essence of this magical season of snow. Alas ours came for a day and then melted away with the ever growing need for the earth to wake up!!!! So glad that we had a day to celebrate snowflakes!

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  2. Beautiful post, Rebecca.
    We got snow too. It’s been so very dry for the past 8 months that I’m trying not to complain about the cold, if that was the only way we could get some moisture. (All day yesterday the temp was stuck on 19 F (-7C). It was 12F when I got up this morning. But before I know it, the days will top 100 degrees.
    I’m glad you had a nice Valentine’s Day. Hugs on the wing.

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    1. You ARE in a deep freeze, Teagan! We are hovering about -1C and hoping that the snow will hold out for a few more days. I was thinking of dear Quellie and Fiona – I read the last chapter at the end of day. It seemed like that best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day 2021!! “Quack, quack, quack-quack-quack!!! Sending hugs!!!!

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  3. I’m so happy for you! Welcome to winter weather! Your video is beautiful, as is your enthusiasm. The snow all around, the birds singing, and that duck walking across the ice at the end are priceless. 🙂 I’m glad you were able to capture photos and videos on that day. The story of reading 1 Corinthians 13 is truly poignant. This is one of the most beautiful and challenging of all scriptures that makes us feel deeply yet wonderfully provoked. On this next day after celebrating that saint of love, Happy St. Valentine’s year!!

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    1. Mary Jo, your comments always give joy to my day. Thank you for joining me at Charleson Park, which is part nature and part dog friendly leash-off area. It is a wonderful place to watch the dogs run and jump. As we walk along the SeaWall, dogs are excitedly pulling their humans along in their hurry to meet up with their friends at the park. It is a humorous sight. Ten year have passed and now my niece has two children and has become an enthusiastic health coach who keeps me ever motivated to keep fit. Life moves on and new stories begin…. Yes – Happy St. Valentine’s year – a perfect title for 2021. Sending many hugs!!!

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      1. Yes, she has!!! Stephanie continues to be my inspiration even though I am unable to keep up with her. I follow in her footsteps which always makes it much easier to stay the “health” course.

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  4. That was, rather is beautiful, as these words are nothing less than memorable, and need no additional comments that could but serve as an unnecessary frame. I’ve no doubt that you’re presentation at your nieces wedding was perfect, and a souvenir she treasures to this day!

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    1. My father was a minister who had great patience with me. It seemed I could never get to church on time, even after Frances set the clock ahead 10 minutes. For those few second when the microphone wasn’t activated, I thought of my late entrances and smiled thinking that late starts are always a good thing. There are so many nuances and subtleties to the concept of love, but one thing is certain – love connects us to past and future. As William Shakespeare “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

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  5. Lovely Rebecca- and for once St Paul says just the right thing (and I can criticise because I am a Paul too)
    all joking apart you story of your neice’s wedding and feeling like your dad was by your side brought a lump to my throat. I do not claim to know what happens when we pass beyond the veil, but I have always believed that no one is ever gone whle remembered and kept in your heart.

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    1. I remember the time that I visited Ephesus and wondered what it would have been like to live during Roman times. While so much is know about the ancient past – events, lifestyles and writings, we can only live and experience what is given in an existence that moves ever forward. I agree wholeheartedly, Paul, that love has the capacity to remain ever fresh in memory, that nothing is lost. Every spiritual tradition and mythology speaks to the idea of love, (which has no many nuances that it is difficult to define.) I especially like Buddha’s thought: “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” Thank you so much for your heartwarming comments – very very much appreciated.

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      1. I really like that quote from Buddha, Rebecca. I hadn’t heard it before. I think he would have told Dylan Thomas’s father to go gentle into that good night and not to rage at the dying of the light.

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      2. Oh, I do enjoy Dylan Thomas, especially when I hear him recite his poetry with a lilt of the Wales accent. He does rage, doesn’t he? “Though lovers be lost, love shall not; And death shall have no dominion” is one of my favourite Dylan Thomas quotes. I am delighted that you joined me and the snowflakes.

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      3. Another thing in common Rebecca, we visited Ephesus while living in Turkey. it is humbling to be in these places- you really feel part of the continuum of time. And I think that adds added poignancy to the Buddha’s word on the measure of a life. Px

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  6. Thank you for including the beloved “Love Chapter” and the walk in the snow-covered trees and walkway. Such a beautiful clean walk. Thank you too for the reminder of the beautiful wedding and your part in it. As I sat watching the beautiful ceremony and your reading, so well done, I thought of your father, so recently gone from our physical presence and realized very distinctly that he was actually present as well.

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    1. It was a beautiful wedding wasn’t it!? I especially appreciated the cappuccino bar! I remember all of the times that Dad recited the “Love Chapter” at special events. Remember how much Dad enjoyed the snow? I am certain that he loved winter even more than summer. Many hugs and love!!

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    1. I looked outside my window this morning, Dave. The snow has melted away and there is word that spring is starting to wake up. Poor winter didn’t have much time in Vancouver. But all those cell phones documented that we are indeed part of Canada. My brothers in Alberta have experienced -40C in January/February. I just learned a new Icelandic word – gluggaveour, which means window weather. When its cold and stormy outside, it is nice to enjoy the view through the window with a cup of tea or hot chocolate in hand. Wasn’t that a great capture at the end. I understand why nature photographers get so excited about watching wildlife – there are so many stories.

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  7. Lovely post and snowy video, Rebecca. Thank you for sharing your memory here. I remember that when I spoke at my Mom’s memorial service that although I was nervous at first, I felt imbued with my love for her and this gave me the strength I needed. 🤗

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    1. I know exactly what you felt – the strength of love that allows us to move on, to remember, to cherish, to celebrate. The snow has disappeared overnight, with only a few traces of white remaining. We are heading into spring. Next stop Daffodils! Sending hugs and more hugs!

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    1. Thank you, my dear friend. Yes – Happy Valentine’s Day everyday. Mary Jo has nominated 2021 at the year for St. Valentine’s. And you have just confirmed that this is the right title. Sending many hugs!!!!

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    1. Thank you Linda for your heartwarming comments. You made my day brighter. The snow is gone now with the 6C degrees, but the photos have crystallized the moment. The gift of photographs is their ability to stop time!!! Sending hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer! I felt we were like we were like the rest of Canada. Alas, the snow has left us as the temperature has increased to 6C. We had to hurry to capture the snow! It was a glorious day! Hugs!

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    1. Oh Julie, how wonderful to have your presence and heartwarming comments with me this morning. We have not had any snow in Vancouver until the few days in February. And now, the snow has melted magically away with our 6C degrees. The sun has come out today with a message that spring is ready to wake up the earth. The crocuses are next and then the daffodils. How lovely it is to have seasons. Sending hugs and more hugs your way.

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  8. One of the very few things I have from my dad is a small card with exactly these words what you had in the beginning of this post. I look at that card here and there and always hear his voice, that love never ends. It’s been 16 years without my dad and 2 without mom, and your posts made me think about them.
    Love definitely never ends, and neither distance, nor time can put an end to it.
    Beautiful post, although it made me a bit sad. such is life, however.

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    1. Thank you, Inese, for your profound comments which resonate with my experience. At my grandmother’s funeral, I overheard my mother asked an old friend “will the grieving pass.” I will always remember the answer – “the grieving will always be with you, but it will turn to love and celebration.” I didn’t know what that meant until many years later. I have come to find that the combination of grieving, love and celebration has emotional complexities that can only be fully realized and understood experientially. I especially appreciated your words, “Such is life.” How very well said! Life gives us the opportunity to create, to explore and to leave memories that will sustain those who come after us. Sending many thanks along with hugs across the miles.

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    1. Thank you, Diana! I often think of Shakespeare words “We are such stuff As dreams are made on….”. There are things that occur unexpectedly, that leave a lasting memory. Sending hugs your way!!!

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    1. I agree, Robbie – love does endure. I have often thought about how memory holds those vital links to those who have gone before us. Threads of thought seem to come at the right time, just when needed.

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