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Valentine’s Day Special: A Student’s Perspective on Winter and Love at Fisher

February 14, 2022

It’s come to the point in the year where you wonder if spring will ever come around again. As I write this piece, snow flies frantically around the Dorsey parking lot and I can hardly see the cars driving down the freeway through the haze.

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I never imagined I could see snow as something drab. Growing up in Seattle, the rare chances that rain would thicken into snow were a miracle that covered the streets in a few sparkling centimeters overnight and disappeared just as fast. In Rochester, snow is the norm, and we’ll always tire of the norm. But that doesn’t mean we have to settle into the day-to-day exhaustion, trudging through in thick boots and bundling up without stopping to smell the frozen roses. There is still small magic to find.

In dark times like winter, humans have always found ways to brighten up and believe in the good of the world again. Today, February 14, is Valentine’s Day. A holiday all about love that makes millions bitter. I believe it comes from a misunderstanding of what love is. bell hooks said in her book All About Love that “living simply makes loving simple,” a sentiment that we can reflect on now, nearing two months after her passing. As you walk around campus this Valentine’s Day, question what love is to you. Is it simple? Is living? Perhaps you are the type of person who never thinks about love, in which case I envy whatever thoughts do occupy your mind. I find it impossible not to be reminded each year at this time the importance of a warm, loving, presence in these cold and quiet months.

It may be true that you have been in a loving marriage with your soulmate for many years. It may be that you are only reminded of loss and bitterness at this thought. Whatever your story may be, love is around all our lives. I feel love each time someone holds a door open for me at Ward-Haffey, or when someone slips on the ice and people ask if they are okay. There is love in the passion of each librarian, each student-athlete playing their sport, each professor dedicated to their research. Once you start to realize it, and let go of the societal embarrassment around the very idea, this bleak winter doesn’t seem so long.

Last Tuesday, the Student Activities Board held an early Valentine’s Day Dinner. It’s all worth it, for the event and its staff. After all, what could be a greater profession of world love than dedicating hours of your time to planning and creating an event that allows your peers to celebrate whatever love they have?

So, no matter where your schedule is leading you this month, find love where you can. Smile at a stranger (with your eyes and keeping your mask over your nose), and remember the eternal words said by Maude in Hal Ashby’s 1971 film: “Go and love some more.”

This article was written by Marcus Lindenburg, a PR writing intern with the Office of Marketing and Communications.