Day of love a small beacon

19:43, Feb 19 2014
Pat Veltkamp Smith
Columnist Pat Veltkamp Smith was Southland Times women's editor until 1997 and is a former president of the Southland Justices of the Peace Association.

It does not pay to look back (quickest way to come off your bike) but sometimes you do and right now we are flicking back a week to Valentines Day, like last Friday.

Remember it - now?

Remember red roses, satiny shorts, shiny hearts, chocolate, maybe a lovely card?

Don't remember any of it?

Didn't get anything?

Forget it - like he did.


Truth is hardly anyone is satisfied with Valentines Day, not the folk who keep telling us how tawdry and commercial it is, not those who give, and hardly ever those who get - which is kinda sad.

The thing is, February is such a busy month and about the shortest going, so it is lucky if you strike any of it right.

It is like Waitangi Day - a great chance to remember we are lucky to live and love in a land settled by contract not conquest - which is why it is strange there is so much aggro about it.

Valentines Day is a lovely thought and - even if it is just a ginger kiss and a perfect peach - it does say something, and heart- shaped lettuce and Marmite sandwiches say even more.

But getting back to work, to school, to old routines or maybe new - all that makes February a busy and exhausting month.

The fact it is shorter adds to that and yet makes it better - over sooner and on to the cooler roads of March.

But much of February is new and great - like all the polytech students appearing and children in big new shoes going to junior campuses at secondary schools; and real little people starting primary school; and others, used to it, getting new socks, books and fresh pages to write on like starting life anew.

Half your luck we think and twice mine in making it all work.

Let's not keep telling children that school days are the best days of their lives.

Heavens, don't we all need something to look forward to?

The Southland Times