In today's world of war, turmoil and hatred its easy to succumb to the notion that romance is dead.
Every year, however, we're reminded that its very much alive although slightly more tainted by commercialism.
These beautiful works of art originate from India. They are exquisitely hand painted on Alabaster tiles, depicting scenes of courtship,love and romance in the Mogul empire.
I had both of them in my shop, hanging by the door, directly in front of my desk where I could see them shimmering in diffused daylight.
My intention was to take them home when I found something equally stunning to replace them with.
A lady walked in one day. She looked some what anxious and a little desperate. She floated round the shop like a trapped, confused butterfly, not quite comfortable in settling on any of the available items on sale.
" Is there anything I can help you with?" I asked.
The look in her eyes told a story of love, passion, pain, loss, loyalty and gratitude, but above all it was her quivering voice that betrayed a deep rooted,albeit emotional, romantic inside her.
" It's our anniversary and I wanted to buy my husband something special; something to show my gratitude for all his love and devotion throughout all these years"
There was a sound of finality in her voice which discharged a sense of sadness and pity on my part.
I cannot explain exactly what made me do it but I found myself staring at the Mogul paintings. The emotions in them are almost tangible. One feels like a voyeur privy to a secret lovers's meeting where vows of unwavering love, devotion and loyalty are exchanged without hesitation.
" These are PERFECT !" she said as she caught the objects of my attention in her sight.
Her eyes light up and her voice resonated with a melodic sound of hope.
Although at the time it was heart wrenching parting with either one of these pictures, my reward was her beaming smile and the warm look she gave me as she left the shop tightly gripping her 'Golden Fleece'.
I have since found out that she died shortly after and that the picture was her parting gift to the man she loved.
You may think that this is rather a poignant story but to me it shows that, even in our darkest hour,love can be the lasting mark we leave on this world.
Just a few things thrown together in a Valentine theme.
Its a little heart shaped ramekin I filled with roses and dressed with moss; was bought by a gentleman who bumped into his old flame.Sounds like they picked up where they left off.
or just a romantic walk amongst nature's wonders.
It would be nice to hear how you spent your Valentine's Day so get in touch and reassure me that romance is not dead.
Whatever you embark on, I wish you Love.