February 2017: Greetings from Lady Dunrovin
I personally love it that Valentine’s Day falls in February. In these northern climes, February is winter’s last stronghold. While the world remains a frozen landscape, in February, one begins to sense the lengthening of the days and to momentarily feel the radiant warmth of sunshine on one’s cheek as the temperatures bounce above the freezing point. February makes us anxious for spring and discontent with winter’s grip. What better way to distract ourselves from our discontent than focusing on those we love.
Valentine’s Day, it seems, has a long and tumultuous history. Ancient Rome may have started the tradition with it fertility fest, which was held in mid-February, as they thought that was the time in which birds began to pair for mating. The Catholic Church ultimately usurped the tradition to give it a Christian orientation. Valentine cards first appeared in Britain, and jumped the pond to the United States in the 1840s. Today, nearly two-thirds of Americans participate in the holiday.
While Valentine’s Day is synonymous with romantic love, we feel no need to limit ourselves to celebrating that one particular form of love. Rather, Dunrovin embraces the many different faces of love, and looks to the ancient Greek language as a guide to including love’s various meanings:
The following is a summary of an article from YES! Magazine entitled The Ancient Greeks’ 6 Words for Love and Why Knowing Them Can Change Your life:
- Eros got its name from the Greek god of fertility and denotes the idea of sexual passion, desire, or romantic love. Eros was, in fact, to be feared for its overpowering and controlling desires. Eros is an irrational, possessing type of love that can dangerously take hold of you and deprive you of self-control.
- Philia is used for the more valuable, stable, and deeply emotional attachment that arises between close friends and comrades in arms. Philia is characterized by loyalty and sacrifice. A special type of philia, storge embodies the love between children and their parents. It is an all-encompassing love that places one’s wellbeing alongside and dependent on that of another.
- Ludus encapsulates the playful affections of children and young lovers. Teasing, flirting, joking, bantering, and laughing with friends are all manifestations of ludus. It is a harmless and meaningless form of love that some cultures disdain.
- Agape is the selfless love that is extended to all people and all things. It is the wellspring for empathy and charity. Agape encompasses the spiritual love of God for man and of man for God, the love for nature and the world’s creatures, and the love of one’s community.
- Pregma is the longstanding and enduring love that comes only with time. Pregma embodies patience, tolerance, compromise, and a deep understanding of another to whom one is attached. Long-married couples and close friends who have stood the tests of time enjoy this special, strong type of love.
- Philautia is the love of self, which takes both a healthy and an unhealthy form. The unhealthy form is known as narcissism in which one becomes self-obsessed, concerned only about one’s own aggrandizement, fortune, or fame. The healthy form acknowledges the truth in Aristotle’s statement that “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.” Self-confidence and compassion enable one to be generous to others.
In this issue of the Dunrovin Ranch Lifestyle Magazine, I have asked our writers to focus on some aspect of love, to share with us how love enhances and frames our lives. Our hope is that by sharing our love, you will pause and celebrate the many forms of love in your own life.
Love, in all it many forms, is the foundation for our DaysAtDunrovin online community. We are gathered to celebrate and share our love of nature, of animals, of our communities, and of each other. We strive to find love at the core of all we do and all we say. Through love, we seek to enrich all of our lives and project that love and kindness throughout all of our endeavors.
Our D@D community is a subscription-based online community. Our subscription serves three very important purposes:
First, it allows us to pay the costs of operating DaysAtDunrovin without having to use our limited resources chasing advertisements as a source of revenue. We do not see our community members as consumers in the online world, but as friends who have come together to celebrate animals, nature, and learning. We strive to create an online community free from constant, invasive pushes to purchase. Information about and links to our partner organizations appear without charge on our public D@D pages. We are proud to be associated with these entities and hope you will support them. They share our values and will serve you well.
Second, our subscription creates a "gated community" where people with common interests and values can freely communicate without fear of disrespect. Requiring a D@D membership to participate in the open chat and posting forums ensures protection from internet trolls and bullies. Open and respectful communication opens hearts and forms the basis for friendships. Our website must be safe and secure in order for meaningful conversations and friendships to thrive. Furthermore, this is very personal for me. I live at Dunrovin and I am inviting you into my home. I need to know that you, too, are a real person with honest and good intentions.
Third, we would love to raise money to give back in meaningful ways and support nonprofit causes which speak to the values we all hold. As a community, we can collectively be a force for good.
If you want to join the D@D community and cannot afford the $8/month subscription fee, please email us at email@example.com and we will work with you to set up a scholarship. Willingness to divulge who you are and abiding by our conversation standards of respect are more important to us than payment. Ability to pay should not be a barrier to community membership.
Please share your thoughts about our magazine. Email your comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We cannot promise to answer every message, but we do promise to read every one and post them in our Discussion section for our D@D members to see and discuss. We will work with our D@D members to determine the magazine's course together.
Thank you for your time and attention. Welcome to Dunrovin. I'd love to hear from you.