My onslaught on the garden continued today. The February sun shone down from a cloudless sky and for a moment as I hacked and slashed, I almost felt warm. The world awakens again as spring approaches. The days get longer, the sun shines brighter, and everywhere you look you see little signs that the winter sleep is almost over. There is one little garden bed where mint has mixed with the lemon balm. Apparently, even when it’s dead, mint still retains its scent. As I tugged on one particularly resistant weed, the air around me was suddenly fragrant with freshness. Dead blossoms on flowers that I could not name floated to the ground like butterfly wings.
My parents announced that they were coming for afternoon coffee, so I whipped together some impromptu chocolate muffins. You’ll have to come back Sunday for the recipe. They were wonderfully chocolatey although I think they need a little hint of something to make them perfect. Mint perhaps.
Not that I could forget that today is Valentine’s Day. Half of my news feeds are filled with flowers, champagne and chocolates. We didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in Denmark when I left in 1996. I got back in 2008 to find both Valentine’s Day and Halloween firmly ensconced amongst out celebrations and they both still feel strange to me.
Valentine’s Day always seemed a little like New Year’s Eve to me. One of those days that you are expected to make legen – wait for it – dary, but that nearly always disappoint. Rather anti-climatic, I guess. I’ve always found it funny that anyone in a relationship on Valentine’s Day has to have an incredibly romantic story to tell unless they want their friends to start assuming everything is going to hell. So even if he came home late last night and you found a Valentine in his pocket that’s not addressed to you, you’ll post a picture on Instagram of the flowers you sent yourself. Love someone every day or don’t love them at all.
The last Valentine’s Day I remember was two years ago. I spent it in this house, on this sofa, messaging my best friend. Guy friend. (Hint: never ever fall for your best friend. No matter how great it seems, no matter how obvious it is that it’s meant to be, leave him alone. It worked for Monica and Chandler, but that was fiction.) It was the start of a something that never really began and that ended with the two of us not having spoken for over a year. Today amongst the mint and the muffins I allowed myself some memories.
The only thing left to decide now is whether I’m the type of writer who uses her memories of heartache to tell stories.