Hello, young lovers

Hello, young lovers
By William L. Bulla

"Hello young lovers who ever you are
I hope your troubles are few
All my good wishes go with you tonight
I've been in love like you."
I'm caught up in the words of an old song I heard recently. "Hello Young Lovers" was a song written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for the 1956 musical film, "The King and I". The lyrics caused me to reflect on my life, and on the upcoming event called Valentine's Day.
February 14 is Valentine's Day. Over the years, it has become the date for exchanging love messages and a celebration of St. Valentine, as the patron saint of lovers. It is a day, not only for young lovers, but a day for lovers of all ages. Sending poems and simple gifts, such as flowers, to loved ones, marks the date and secret loves. I did it as a kid and have continued over the years. I remember making them in school and then giving them out on St. Valentine's Day.
There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D. Legend also says that during the days that Valentine was imprisoned, he fell in love with the blind daughter of his jailer. According to folklore, his love for her, and his great faith, managed to miraculously heal her from her blindness before his death. Before he was taken to his death, he signed a farewell message to her, "From your Valentine." The phrase has been used on his day ever since.
Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honor St. Valentine.
In the United States, Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first valentine cards. Her father, a stationer in Worcester, MA, imported valentines every year from England. Around 1810, Ester decided to create her own valentine messages. She began importing lace, fine paper and other supplies to create her valentines. She employed several people to create and market her product. Approximately 141 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine's Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas. The spirit of love continues as valentines are sent out with sentimental verses and children exchange valentine cards at school.
Simple infatuation is often called a "crush" or "puppy love". It commonly strikes those in the early teens or younger. Puppy love is a very widespread experience in the process of growing up. It gives young people a new sense of individualism. For the first time, they love someone outside their family. Love is something most of us, if not all of us, will encounter. There are many different ways to define love and there are many different ways to love someone. Love is the opposite of selfishness, because it always relates to some person other than you. Love is giving! A person feels satisfaction and happiness, not from receiving, but from making someone happy. For everyone love is personal! You can never predict how relationships will develop, but I hope yours will be as happy as mine have been.
"All of my memories are happy tonight
I've had a love of my own
I've had a love of my own like yours
I've had a love of my own."

William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.