♥ Art (for the day that’s in it)

Whether you like it, loathe it or are completely indifferent to it, today is the feast of St Valentine. Little is known about him, some say Valentine’s feast day has been celebrated as a lovers’ holiday and a day of romance since the 14thcentury, when the date was thought to be the beginning of the mating season for birds.

Whatever your feelings here is something everyone can appreciate – some pics of the most romantic public art from around the world.Can you think of any more?

Gage/Clemenceau Architects, Valentine to Times Square

This tree in Moscow is one of many Love Locks sites around Europe.

Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle, Stravinsky Fountain in Paris

Dennis Oppenheim, Engagement (has toured cities including San Diego, Vancouver, New York

Robert Indiana, Love in Philadelphia

A particularly tender mural from Steve Powers’ Love Letter project in Philadelphia

El Beso (The Kiss) at Parque del amor in Lima Peru

Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh – pure loyalty and love

First Day of Spring

Today, the 1st February, marks the first day of spring also known as St Brigid’s Day in Ireland. In school to mark this we used to make St Brigid’s crosses. This day is also very significant on the Celtic calendar as today marks Imbolc, the start of the transition from the darkness of winter into the light.

I had a wonderful yoga class last night celebrating the arrival of spring. This is a time of new beginnings when traditionally people planted seeds in their mind of things they wanted to invite into their lives at this time which would grow and manifest over the coming year.

In order to do this however it’s important to make space as everything needs space to grow. So it requires a bit of a decluttering and getting rid of things that aren’t so necessary in your life to make way for the more important things. I love this idea and think everyone could do with taking stock every so often so here’s to new beginnings, daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops, growth and longer days.

Here is a poem by Irish poet John O’Donohue which sums it up perfectly I think.

For a New Beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

~ John O’Donohue ~