Today, I had planned to post something about Valentine’s Day. I decided on a poem, because I didn’t feel like writing much myself. I waded through a list of my favourite love poems, looking for one that really represented what romantic love feels like to me. I was really struggling. There are a lot of lovely words about romance, plenty describing personality traits or perhaps physical attributes of lovers, but none really seemed to say what I was looking for this post to say.
Then I remembered a poem by Henry Charles Beeching. It was not written about love at all, rather the thrill of racing downhill on a bike. Funnily enough, though, it describes love perfectly. That moment of peace that fills your mind when you realise this person could be more than just another acquaintance. The quickening of your heartbeat as things build, and then the rush of breathlessness that comes with a first kiss or first “I love you”. That feeling of being as light as air whenever they look at you, or talk to you, or you simply just think of them out of the blue. And then the crashing disappointment that comes when/if it all ends. The sudden fall from on high, back to miserable nothingness, before dusting yourself off and trudging back up the relationship hill to do it all over again.
Love is just like riding a bike really fast down a hill. It’s moment’s of unimaginable triumph and bliss. It’s that which we all chase constantly—that breathless delight, that all-consuming giddiness. That’s why we get back up, even after we stacked it at the bottom. Because we know—we remember—that it’s all worth it to find someone who makes us feel like we can do anything…even fly.
So to all you lover’s our there, Happy Valentine’s Day! And to all you who, like me, are still on the way up the hill, hang in there—it’ll totally be worth the walk.