Love. Unconventional.

Love is a hot topic, this week.  But, if you’re anything like me, mention of Valentine’s Day tends to bring on that sweaty-palmed feeling – for all the wrong reasons.

How are you supposed to distil what someone means to you in one day, or one gift, or a few scribbled words on a card?

Any other day I could spontaneously cook a fine meal, or buy some special music or write a piece of poetry.  But when I’m expected to say ‘This is how I feel?’

It’s times like these I turn to the allegorical tale for answers.

Following through on my promise last week, my Valentine’s share is a story on Love. Unconventional.

the-lion-who-wanted-to-loveThe Lion Who Wanted to Love, by Giles Andreae and David Woitowycz, is a rhyming tale about Leo – a cub expelled from his pride on account of his tendency to hug, instead of hunt, other animals.

I am a vegetarian, so of course the story appealed to me.  But the true magic has nothing to do with that at all!

In the wild jungle, Leo finds himself rescuing young antelopes, injured giraffes and thirsty hippos.  He wins them over with his love – and in return, they feed him.

We won’t analyse what it is they feed him – wild berries, I presume.  But the power of the story is demonstrated by one simple principle.

It is in giving freely of himself, without expectation of return, that Leo wins the loyalty and support of his friends.

When Leo gets into trouble, they are there to rescue him, and his family finally see the value of his loving ways.  In the end, he is crowned king of the pride!

Accompanied by colourful and endearing illustrations, the verse slips off the tongue – and if you prefer to listen than read, there is also a CD.

The book has been a big hit with my nephews for some years now.  The eldest must have taken the message to heart, because one birthday he started giving away his gifts to thank his friends for coming to his party!

Luckily, he doesn’t yet know what really happens when a lion befriends an antelope in the wild… 😦

Personally, I’m going with the make believe version – but not just because it’s warm and fuzzy.

Sometimes, Love – well, it’s bigger than we are.  No matter how we try, it won’t be boxed into a neat little package with a bow on it.

And that’s okay.

I don’t know about you, but I feel better already.

How important is Valentine’s Day to you? Any tips for those of us who struggle to express ourselves?


If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of the first three e-books of the Hello Pepi Series – available on Amazon.  It’s all about the love

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  1. says

    Valentine’s Day reminds me of love as much as taking out the trash reminds me of how how beautiful this world is. Doesn’t compute.

    I’ve always (since my first boyfriend came along) said that a present on Valentine’s Day reaches me like a slap in the face. If you need a holiday to express your feelings, you are about as deep as a carpenter ant.

    But depth is kinda significant to me.

    Kinda like Luis Vuitton, as far as I’m concerned.

    Not my sort of happiness. 🙂

    Red roses and chocolate are something I’ve never enjoyed anyway. I mean, if you need to do something mushy and consumer-oriented, give me a kayak for two and a nanny for the weekend.

    Not many guys I’ve dared were into that sort of thing, however. So nothing is perfect for me. 🙂

    • says

      Love your frankness, Brandy!

      “Kayak for two and a nanny” 😀 Now there’s a Valentine’s gift worth having!

      Surely there would be guys who are into that sort of thing? Come to Australia – plenty of outdoorsy types here who’d be happy to cop out of the consumer tradition! 😉

  2. says

    Wow, that lion book sounds really adorable — and, what comes to mind when I think about the story is how important it’s been in my life to learn to honor both the part of myself that resembles the lion snuggling with others in the pride, and the part that resembles the lion on the hunt. That’s been a difficult paradox for me to deal with, but for me it’s the key to growth as a whole person.

    • says

      It’s true… there are times we need to fight, and times we need a more peace loving touch. It’s a challenge… more so for guys, I imagine! For what it’s worth, you come across very well rounded to me, Chris 🙂

  3. says

    I love V Day. I make cards and a nice dinner (finger food only. This is always fun). Sometimes I’m inspired to write my own words, sometimes I just find the perfect quote or joke. But I am aware that my family makes it easy to like V Day. If I didn’t have them, who knows how I’d feel about it. Probably nothing.

  4. says

    What a rivetting video Alarna… my heart aches for the lioness, I wonder what her life holds for her….
    Valentines ? I had my first at fourteen and have never had another! A completely irrelevant day for me….

    • says

      Yes, the video is very sad. I didn’t manage to find out what has happened to her 😦

      Sounds like your first Valentine’s was a bit of a doozie, Valerie! But, you wouldn’t be alone in that, I’m sure!

  5. says

    I don’t have strong feelings about V day. In our little family we don’t have any obligations for this holiday, but I do like the festive feel that comes with it. I love to give little gifts at random times, just because–not just on holidays. It’s more relaxed and easier to be me. 🙂

  6. says

    I’m not really big on celebrating V-Day except with my immediate family. We exchange valentines and have a picnic on the living room floor. (February where I live is too cold and snowy to have a picnic outside.) It’s become a tradition, and we have fun. Otherwise, I don’t really get it.

    • says

      A winter picnic – I like that 🙂 I keep being surprised how many people have mentioned making it a family tradition. I’ve never heard of that before… but I think in Australia we aren’t so big on traditions, perhaps. Anyway, happy to know I’m not alone in being mystified…

  7. says

    I don’t think the day meant a lot growing up in the bush, I can not even remember when I first encountered the day. So no traditions here for that particular saint’s day. But love I find, is something worth sharing at anytime, in its many varieties and for sometimes reason unknown, unconditionally, to share a connection between one to another.

  8. says

    I just got around to read your post today Alarna. I understand about your sweaty-palmed feeling. I felt like that for many years… We do celebrate Valentine’s Day with my husband but we just go to a local restaurant. More to break the routine than anything else really. We don’t feel obliged to say any “specific words”… Love should be celebrated every day including Valentine’s Day and not only this specific day. I’m going to share your post on my Facebook page. I have many mothers who like my page and they might be interested in this book (and in yours too!)

    • says

      A very civilised approach to V Day, and it is definitely worth it to break up the routine! Sometimes the simple stuff is actually more meaningful, hey?

      Thank you so much for sharing the post and the book love, Rita – you’re a gem 😀

  9. says

    We used to ‘do’ Valentine’s Day when we were younger, but even then, it was more an excuse to go somewhere fancy than anything. I prefer the random bunch of flowers just because or on a day that means something to us than any random day set by someone else.

    But in other news, how did I not know you had books out???? I’m sorry I missed that but I will go and check them out (for which, read, buy) immediately!

    • says

      Hi Imelda! Yes, meaningful dates are my preference, too – but any excuse for a fancy meal is good 🙂

      Thanks so much for checking out the books – no apologies, please!! Marketing is not my strong point. But I’m working up to it for the release of the next four! Hope you enjoy 🙂

  10. says

    First of all, my humble apologies for missing you and your posts for such a long while, Madam! 😀 I was totally engaged in something which I couldn’t forfeit. 🙂
    Telling about Valentine’s Day? Being frank, it’s always a usual one for me. I don’t believe that any special day is required for 2 souls to enjoy their glitzy schedules together for ‘checking’ out the depth of the relationship they may or might own. Loved the Leo’s story as well! Warm wishes. God bless. 🙂


    • says

      No apologies required, Rahul! We all gotta live our lives – I’ve been absent on Facebook, if I remember correctly :/

      You being the romantic that you are, I’m not surprised you are a lover all year round! You’ll get no disagreement from me 😉

      Hope you are well and enjoying whatever you are doing, my friend!

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