So It’s March and I’m writing about Valentine’s Day.  It was nearly 5 weeks ago. I think the delay is clear as to why I am just now getting to this.

The See’s Candies box is empty and the drunk wore off.

I bought Jonathan a box of See’s Candies for Valentine’s Day. I had heard a man say on television earlier in the week that men don’t want chocolates! Don’t give your man chocolates! Well, I did.  I gave him See’s Candies and a Coleman lantern for camping to cover my bases. But the way his eyes twinkled over the candy said it may have been his favorite of the two. Jonathan has a sweet tooth. See’s Candies are sort of new to Jonathan. He had never heard of this confectioner’s delight before he met me. But now that he has had a sample, he’s pretty much hooked.  And they do share a sample. See’s Candies hands each visitor a sample piece. What’s not to love about that?  I don’t quite have the sweet tooth Jonathan has, but I really do enjoy See’s Candies.  And I hoped as he opened that gift, Jonathan would share his candy with me.

I had a feeling Jonathan would share.  I am a food sharer, and I remember our first date was a lunch time meal at a favorite Mexican restaurant. We were just getting to know each other and this was our first meal we were sharing. Share as in sitting down together for a meal, not share as in share in his Chimichanga. I had ordered my usual, but wondered if he might be a food sharer too, and let me have a taste of his Chimichanga?

He said simply, “No. I don’t like to share my food.”

I sat there on the verge of letting go of one of my biggest, loudest laughs. Jonathan had been nothing but clear! Knowing myself, I had to sort of like that.

“Allright Brutha! You stand your ground! I can respect a man who loves his Chimichanga.”

Okay. Clearly not everyone is a food sharer. A boundary had been set. I can roll with it.

Our lunch-of-a-first-date continued with a wide range of conversation, and towards what felt like the winding down of the meal,  low and behold, Mr. Jonathan offered me a bite of his Chimichanga. A big bite. A delicious bite of a really good green chili Chimichanga. He shared a sample. And from that sample I knew upon my next visit to this eating establishment, I would choose the Chimichanga.

I’m sure that’s part of the dealio behind See’s Candies sharing a sample of delicious candy with their visitors. I don’t believe you really need to even commit to a purchase, they just share a sample with you. Aside from this sweet treat offered up for free, my guess is they are hoping you will like this particular sample and seek it out in one of their boxed assortments of presorted deliciousness, or it will nudge you toward selecting the opportunity to create your own custom box. You choose. It’s a choice that will continue to present itself for all those who wish to have See’s Candies in our lives. Choose, choose, choose… even which candy to choose to pop in your mouth first, once the box is open and in your hot little hands. Like I said… you choose.

Valentine’s Day is a special day for Jonathan and me. Above and beyond the traditional candy and flower day, this was a day that Jonathan chose something, and I did too. It was sweet, but it was far more than a box of chocolates.

On that cold Valentine’s Day of 2013, up north in Jonathan country, after picking me up at a North Dakota airport for a visit to meet his family in Minnesota, I was presented with flowers as he waited for me to get off the plane, and then more gorgeous flowers awaited me in my room when we dropped off my luggage, then to be followed by a great dinner out. It was a perfect way to spend this Day of Hearts, and it launched my excitement to finally meet his loved ones after dating this fella for six months. The distance in geography was the culprit for the delay. But this Valentine’s Day seemed to set the tone for love,  love of all sorts.

As the day drew to a close, outside my hotel room was a bed of snow, fresh and untouched. It was seven degrees below zero, something this California girl had seen little of. It was indeed cold but I was loving every minute of this beautiful weather. Jonathan had gone to the car to get my water. (I’m a water drinker and carry big gallons with me everywhere.) Waiting for him to return, I decided I had better grab my phone and go take a picture of the snow as it lay untouched like a blanket. It might likely have critter prints on it by morning. It was so cold, but I needed that gorgeous picture. Snow is one of the most beautiful things I think I can lay my eyes on. And the metaphors of the pure fallen snow are endless. I love them too.

As I walked out with my phone, there Jonathan stood with this crooked, bashful smile on his face. Like he had been caught. I lookeddown onto the snow just steps from my feet. Written there was indeed something so sweet, something Jonathan wanted to share with me. There in the beauty of this pure, beautiful snow, was written a choice Jonathan had made. Jonathan had chosen to love me, and was choosing to share his life with me, and offered up the choice for me to do the same in return. There is was, in the snow. Asking me to marry him was the dealio.

It was simple and clear. Marry me. His choice was met with my choice. I chose to say yes. Yes, I had chosen to love Jonathan and would choose to marry him. He chose the perfect way and perfect place to ask me that question. There couldn’t have been a more loving place to extend himself to me, than to write in the beautiful snow that he knew I loved so much. From there the artwork expanded, obviously. The story was told in the snow. And the story continued as we married about six months later, on what perhaps was the hottest day of my years in Arizona. Irony? Yes.

As the drunk from chocolates have worn off this past month, I’ve thought about Valentine’s Day, and See’s Candies, and love in general. I’m struck by the word “choose”.  There’s quite a bit of simplistic power in that word. After sharing in sample form, our lives with one another, Jonathan and Terey chose to love. We chose to ask each other to share ourselves for the duration of this lifetime; loving and sharing, and choosing them both. With passing days, chocolates eventually disappear, leaving an empty box. The drunk does ware off. But the power to choose does not. I choose to love. It may sometimes feel like it hits us over our heads, with butterflies and romance, but in all actuality it really is a choice. We can choose to love, or we can choose not to. The sample of tasting a little love may somehow nudge us, but it really is is our choice to handpick our own box.  We can choose to love. And it’s again our choice then to share our love. Our lives. Our Chimichanga. Love is shared. It’s too powerful to stay contained.

Should there be any confusion of the crux of this blog entry, let me say that Valentine’s Day does not corner the market on this choosing. The choice to love and to share it is not only for the lovers who romance and rendezvous in snow covered lands. I know you know this, but it’s due the reminder. Everyday, at any moment, we are provided the opportunity to choose love on every and all the rest of the three-hundred and sixty-four days.

Jonathan shared his See’s Candies with me, as you may have guessed. I will confess that I didn’t like the all of the flavored centers. They weren’t always my favorite. Sometimes love comes easier than others, but the choice to love is really pretty simple. Powerfully simple, for something as huge as Love.

It’s big deal to choose to be a lover. It’s a power placed in our hands to bring beauty and even change into a world that truthfully, needs so much of both.

Jonathan and I had a great Valentine’s Day some five weeks ago. We celebrated and rested at one of our most favorite spots in Prescott, Arizona. I will share about that place someday soon. I love it there, so you know, sharing and loving go hand in hand. Two years following that day with the message in the snow, Jonathan and I continue to choose. It is indeed pretty cool knowing we don’t have to, but we choose to love each other, sometimes with funky flavored centers and all.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with See’s Candies, it would be worth a visit, but you choose.