The universal butterflies of love

Sarah Erickson

Reporter

Does that dusty, old-school flowers and candy routine seem too dull and repetitive? Don’t let this Valentine’s Day fly by without designing at least one memory that echoes an entire lifetime. It is time to start making plans and stirring your creative juices. Express your affections extravagantly, go wild.

Ideas abound online, you can choose to take advantage of these or use them to stir your imagination and make a day that will surely require a camera. If you think about it, the best memories are from the unusual times outside of routine, not in the tried and true ones. Here are some oldies but goodies from around the globe.

German Suitors in the 17th century would decorate a birch tree with hearts, flowers and other symbolic designs made out of crepe paper. These Romeos’ then proceeded to set up the tree in Juliet’s front yard while she was in town. When she returned home, she was filled with happiness and the wooing begins.

This idea can easily become personal by adding photos of the two of you together, bath salts, perfumes or cologne, jewelry, books about love and relationships. You can find a plant, rose bush or Bonsai tree to substitute. Sentimentality trumps price here.

For centuries, Japanese have used butterflies at their weddings as a symbol of love, beauty and marital bliss. Butterflies are the perfect theme for any commitment. If you imagine the butterfly’s transformation process, notice the similarities as if a relationship took caterpillar form. The stages and changes with the other person are a constant and cyclical transformation. Relationships aren’t perfect, but rather a process the butterfly reflects. After the cocoon, the relationship will soar in harmonious beauty again.

Rather than a movie, origami butterflies can be a fun project for the two of you. I suggest that you use your personal relationship and discuss the ways that you both feel it relates to the butterfly. This is a truly intimate project that will bring you closer together. Remember the butterfly doesn’t die when it is in origami form. It remains transformative over and again representing eternity.

An English tradition of carving wood into a spoon to woe a lady is a very precious gift. The suitor would display his skills and commitment to his dearest through the detail and symbols that he could carve into the Love Spoon. I realize this is a time consuming project, nevertheless, sentiment is worth its weight in pounds on Valentines.

The Chinese are much more reserved about love than Americans. They would have expressed their feelings with food. This sounds easy enough, especially if you are shy to express your feelings. In ancient times, young men and women would gather in a forest and throw plums and papayas as a way of choosing their lover. I don’t recommend this, specifically if you have poor aim. The point here is that food is a subtle way to express romantic interests, whether it is a home cooked meal or a kiwi between classes for someone special.

In Greek Mythology, dark and twisty Hades lured an innocent, sweet, young Persephone into the Underworld with a pomegranate. So, if the kiwi doesn’t prove successful, maybe then you can try the love power in that pomegranate. Whatever you do, create memories.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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The universal butterflies of love

by Sarah Erickson time to read: 2 min
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