The 14th of February

February 14th. One day out of the year dedicated to love. Valentine’s Day. A date mostly anticipated by those who have a significant other to celebrate with and is universally known for the giving of gifts such as flowers, chocolate-covered strawberries, and cute little teddy bears holding “I love you” hearts. It might be because I lack a valentine or because I outwardly express vulnerable emotions neither well nor often, but love looks different for me, especially on this February 14th. With that being said, I will share with you that my love has grown, and it has grown profusely.

Today is a day all about affirming feelings for a special someone, but I have decided for me it is and will always be more than that. It is for people, both friends and family but also strangers, for places, familiar and new, and for known and unknown opportunities. I came to Italy and discovered love is near and far and not always accompanied by the colors red and pink, represented in the shape of a heart, or dipped in chocolate. So why refrain from sharing such fondness every other day of the year?

I found love in the smiles of those I struggle otherwise to communicate with, in handcrafted cappuccinos, as well as in early mornings that before I knew it turned into late nights. And these are just a few. I found so much love that one day a year will no longer be enough. Here is not only to February 14th, but also the 15th, 16th, and so on. To loving full-heartedly every day of the year.

With an overabundance of love,

Ivy Cole

From strangers to close friends. My valentines this February 14th.