I don’t need designer gifts, fancy food or vintage wine this Valentines. You can keep your flowers and your diamond rings. Of course, they’re pretty when they sparkle and bloom but their beauty is short lived, and you can’t take them with you when you’re gone.
Instead, give me a homemade picnic on a hill and a hike through a muddy wood. Give me a high up view that renders us stunned and silent and reminds us that we are tiny dots on this infinite, rolling landscape. It will keep us good and humble to remember that.
Give me a walk in the rain; two people huddled under the same umbrella, walking together in the same direction. Give me two pairs of muddy boots on the mat at the end of a fun day.
Give me solidarity, give me strength. Give me something sturdy to hold onto when the world starts spinning too fast. Give me reassurance when the future feels at the same time both impossibly vast and desperately short, as though it could all be over too soon.
Give me someone who has time. Time to laugh and dance and to share good music. Time for private jokes and late nights and lie ins. Someone who has time to stop and observe the sun rise and fall and marvel at its beauty.
Give me an advocate. Give me someone who will hold my hand and stand by my side. Give me someone who talks about “we” and “us” and “ours”.
Give me someone who will still be there when our bodies age. When our limbs are a little rounder, a little softer, a little more wrinkled than before. When our hair goes grey or falls out altogether. Give me someone who’s in it for the long haul.
That’s all I need this Valentines Day, and all the other days that follow. Yes, that’ll do me just right.