Valentine’s Day is this week. I have pondered this day in another post a couple of years ago. This year, I want to reflect on hearts, collections, and what they can reveal to us.
Back in December, I went on a hike with a friend and her friend. Her friend collects heart rocks, and found at least four during our hike. Most were small enough to put in her pocket, and I found myself thinking about the types of collections we build in our lives, and what they say about us.
Some people collect coins or stamps, either for their artistry or as an investment. Others collect books because they are voracious readers. Some collect cars and enjoy fixing them up. Others collect gems, fossils, and similar treasures, and many of them are in town right now for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.
Other people are more finders than collectors. I know someone who believes every penny she finds is a gift from her deceased father. Another woman believes that every heart-shaped rock (or shell, or tortilla chip) is a gift from her daughter, who was killed a number of years ago in a traffic accident.
It turns out that a lot of us like heart-shaped rocks. There’s a Pinterest site devoted to heart-shaped rocks and you can purchase rock hearts from many vendors across the internet.
During that hike, we came across this very large heart-shaped stone pictured above. I took a photo of this large one in part because of that friend who collects hearts from her daughter. When I got home, I sent her the image, and this is what she wrote in response (she follows my blog and I have her permission to share it):
Thanks for the picture and thinking of me. That is a really big heart rock. It’s cracked, but not broken, which to me is symbolic of what we all are after a huge loss—our hearts feel broken, but as we continue on, we find they are cracked but not completely broken so we are able to move forward to find our way in the world without our loved one.
That is a beautiful reflection. Especially after writing last week’s post, which touched on loss and grief, I appreciate her wisdom.
What do you feel about collecting hearts? How does your heart respond to my friend’s reflection on loss? How might you share your heart—or a heart—with someone who is grieving on Valentine’s Day?