Living Well: How Do I Love Thee? Verna Isbister

Lawrence Welk

Lawrence WelkWith Valentine’s Day only three days away, you still have time to plan something lovely for that special someone in your life.  As Elizabeth Barrett Browning asks, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” I invite you to begin making a list of all the ways that you adore the special loves in your life.  Next find some red or floral paper, fold it in half, slip your list inside and voilá, a card is born and ready for the 14th.

As a child, I remembered the Lawrence Welk Show, where bubbles blew out of a bubble machine to the tune of Tiny Bubbles.  If this season finds you in a tiny bubble of your own, use this occasion to reflect back on those people who you have loved over your lifetime and those who have loved you.  Perhaps, you are sheltered with your loyal animal friends.  I know that dogs, cats, horses, alpacas, llamas, donkeys and even chickens bring much love into our lives. 

Chocolates, flowers and gifts are customary on this holiday and Denman Island provides us with all.  Denman Island Chocolates comes in many enticingvarieties.  So whether you want to add some Razzle Dazzle or some Zesty Orange to your relationshipor move your love to more spiritual heights with Holy Mole or if you need some extra fun,buy Cocoa Loco. There’s also a Valentine assortment called Heart of Gold.  A piece of chocolate every day reduces our risk of heart disease.  For flowers in February, create a bouquet of wild ferns and greenery from the forest and roadsides.  The Denman Craft Shop is featuring many heartfelt gifts.

Cook a favorite meal with wine from Corlan Vineyard and purchase seafood, vegetables or meat from local producers.The Guest House is offering a special Valentine’s Day take-out dinner complete with wine pairings or order from the Shack N Wagon. Your efforts will be much appreciated and enjoyed.

To top it all off, clear the kitchen dance floor and put on some of your favorite love songs from the past.  Neil Young’s Harvest Moon would be at the top of my list. Graeme and I met at Vanier High School in Courtenay:

When we were strangers

I watched you from afar

When we were lovers

I loved you with all my heart

It also brings back memories of my husband’s cancer diagnosis and my heart’s longing:

Because I’m still in love with you

I want to see you dance again

Because I’m still in love with you

On this harvest moon.

So, yes, we’re still dancing …

 Music is so evocative of times, placesand emotions.  Start making your playlist for a night of musical reminiscences.  How about Van Morrison’s-Have I Told You Lately that I Love You or The Beatles’-All My Loving?  If your bubble is small, you can really kick up your heels!

This weekend our daughter is getting married on February 13 (Covid rules: 10 guests and no reception).  Love in the time of Covid replaces Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera.  The couple have chosen two songs to be sung during their ceremony.  Wildflowers by the Wailin’ Jenny’s:

You belong among the wildflowers

You belong on a boat out at sea

You belong with your love on your arm

You belong somewhere you feel free

and Rhianna’s We Found Love:

Yellow diamonds in the light

Now we’re standing side by side

As your shadow crosses mine

What it takes to come alive

We found love in a hopeless place (or a Covid place)


What I’ve learned is that love never fails. Love can be found in many places.

 Love is worth celebrating.Now it’s time for a slow dance.