Crazy Love: Valentine’s Day in Oaxaca, Mexico

Happy Valentine’s Day

Red and pink hearts are everywhere around town. They hang from doorways and adorn window displays.

Dia del Amor is a big deal here. As early as Saturday afternoon, I saw young (and older) couples holding hands and gazing into each others’ eyes across cafe tables, getting a jump start on The Day of Love.

❤️ Love for another is an amazing feeling. I love my son and soon-to-be-daughter-in-law, though I haven’t known her for nearly as long. I love my sister and brother. I have loved two husbands before they became wasbands. I love my Zapotec family in Teotitlan del Valle and the women friends in my life. I don’t have a fella now but I am open to the possibility.

What is love? and is love different across cultures? Can we love our work or our craft in the same way as we love another human being? What words express these differences? Will hearts and flowers, chocolate and a poem be enough to express feelings that are often too difficult to verbalize?

We use the word love freely. I love Oaxaca. I love this dress. I love chocolate cake and nicuatole and a Maracuya Mezcalini. I love to walk. Are there enough nuances in our language to express the different levels of love and what it applies to?

How far are we willing to stretch for love? Does love conquer all? Mostly, I think, the idea of love keeps us open to all that is perfect in a world that is flawed, and to offer our best selves to another.

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