Alternative Valentine’s Day

Cassandra Tondro collage

“There Are No Words,” 14 x 11 inches, collage on wood panel

Hello Friends,

Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday of the year, not just because it’s the day before my birthday, but also because the emphasis is on love. Who doesn’t want to see more love in the world?

I’m not talking about the chocolate-and-roses type of romantic love. I’m referring to love for ourselves and each other. Love for the planet and all of her beings. Love for the Universe and divine order. Love of beauty, peace, freedom and happiness for all.

Jeff Krasno posted an interesting story about love on the Commune platform this week. Here’s part of what he had to say:

Ironically, the real solution to escape the feeling of being alone is to learn how to be alone. In the quietude of meditative self-reflection, one may cultivate compassion and forgiveness for and of oneself. In the fostering of self-love, one emerges as worthy, as enough. One belongs fully to oneself just by the mere existence of one’s own humanity, without the need of anyone’s approbation.

In this absence of need, love transmutes from something taken to something given. The focus of love shifts from the self to the world.

This is something I work on everyday — feeling secure with who I am and not needing others’ approval so that I can extend love to the world. And it continues to be a challenge.

Of course a little chocolate never hurts! In celebration of love, Valentine’s Day and my birthday, I made some vegan chocolate chip cookies. They turned out a little uh — unusual, because I used whole grain spelt flour, oat milk and no oil or fat. But they’re edible, and I’m enjoying them!

Vegan chocolate chip cookies

I’m wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day! May you feel love and spread love all the days of your life.

How will you celebrate love this Valentine’s Day? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



  1. Happy Birthday Cassandra. Your thoughts made me think of Whitman’s lines from Leaves of Grass, “Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, I seek not good fortune, I am good fortune.” A good reminder while in lockdown to be gentle with ourselves. Hope you get some rain!

    1. Hi Corinne. That’s a great Whitman quote. Thanks for sharing it. Sadly the rain has fizzled out, and no rain in the foreseeable future. I’m finding it difficult to have equanimity with that!

  2. Hi,

    I always read and enjoy your newsletters…

    I’m in rural Devon, South West UK and I enjoy being creative. 

    I’m enclosing a photo of my home- made Valentine’s card for my partner,  inspired by your piece. 

    I typed words, printed them,  stuck them onto a heart shape mounted on glossy paper and ta da! Voila!

    I wouldn’t have made it if I hadn’t seen your newsletter. So thankyou!

    I’m also inspired to have a go at leaf prints sometime, yours are subtle and beautiful. 

    I have a photography website if you’d like to have a look…its not commercial,  just my favourite photos .

     Best viewed on a desktop computer but there is a mobile version.

      I love trees and water, and we have both the coast and Moorland rivers here in the  South West.

    Have a very Happy Birthday!

    Best wishes from the UK, keep safe and well. 


    1. Hi Carole. I know you can’t post a photo here, but I saw the photo that you sent to me in email of the Valentine that you made. It’s beautiful, and I’m sure your partner will love it. How fun! I’m glad you find inspiration in my work. Your photographs are amazing, too, and I like the abstract quality. Keep it up!

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