February is such a long, dreary month, don’t you think? It has grey skies and brown landscapes, cold and wet outside, seemingly endless. Many folks are getting “Spring Fever” already, so tired of being cooped up inside with nothing to do.
I was looking for a way to make a post for February that didn’t have anything to do with Valentine’s Day. It seems like when the middle of January hits, it becomes the Hallmark season for hearts and candy and flowers, etc. I have nothing against Love, per se, I just wish it weren’t so commercialized, is all.
Anyway, I did some digging, and I discovered that there is a holiday in February that probably not many people know about: February 11th is “National Shut-In Visitation Day”. 🙂 I rather like that, because it shows the true spirit of “love” when people can take the time out of their busy lives to spend an hour or two with someone who never or hardly ever gets to go outside and enjoy so many of the things that a lot of us take for granted.
What if you couldn’t just go outside and take a walk when you wanted? Or what if you couldn’t just jump in your car and drive to the store when you needed? For thousands of people, this is the case. They may be bound to a wheel-chair. They may be in a nursing home or place where they are not allowed to just “get up and go”. They may be elderly, or sick, or blind, too young, too old, or a hundred other things that make them a “shut-in”.
The true spirit of LOVE, in my mind, is the one that connects ALL of us. It’s the one that reaches out with compassion to say, “I’m here. I care.” Even when…no, make that especially when…it’s to a stranger. So perhaps if you have an hour or so to spare, you could visit a nursing home, a children’s hospital, or someone you may even know personally who isn’t able to get out and enjoy life the way you do. Your visit might very well be the only bright spot in their day! 🙂 Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring some happiness and cheer, some sunshine to someone who would really appreciate it? I guarantee you that if you do, you will BOTH be much better for it!
And maybe next year when February rolls around again, you’ll remember how nice it was to celebrate “National Shut-In Visitation Day”. Or heck, who says you have to wait until February? 😉
© 2014, essay, Corina Ravenscraft, illustration, Ursula Vernon All rights reserved
Editor’s note: This was supposed to post on February 11, which is National Shut-in Visitation Day. We apologize for the delay. It was the editor’s bad, not the writer’s.