The Gregorian calendar has shifted into the 2nd month of the calendar year. The shortest of all months, even with its quadrennial extra day, February is very unique. It is the only month in which the calendar can consist entirely of full Sunday-to-Saturday weeks. The phenomenon happens every 11 years with a 6-year gap after every 3rd occurrence. It is the only month in which it is possible for a full moon to not be visible. This happens roughly every 19 years in Februaries in which there is no leap day.
The month is just as historic as it is unique. George Washington was selected as the 1st American President in February. The introduction of the Tootsie Roll candy (1896), the teddy bear (1903), and the La-Z-Boy reclining chair (1928) all happened in February. The first 911 call was made in February 1968. YouTube launched in February 2005. The landmark Marbury v. Madison case was argued and decided before a young Supreme Court of the United States in 1803, thrusting judicial review into American culture. February is the month in which 3 of the most stunning upsets in professional sports history occurred: the Miracle on Ice, Super Bowl XLII, and the Buster Douglas KO of Mike Tyson. February is the birth month of some of the most iconic people in history such as Thomas Edison, Babe Ruth, Rosa Parks, Bob Marley, Charles Dickens, Susan B. Anthony, Norman Rockwell, and W.E.B. Du Bois. The births of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are celebrated on President’s Day every February. February is home to notable events such as Black History Month, Groundhog Day, the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500, the Winter Olympics, and the Academy Awards. Above all, February is recognized by many as the “month of love”, an ode to the emphasis of love in our lives. This is oftentimes reflected in the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day and the general remembrance of love throughout the month. The term love is defined as “a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties; an affection and tenderness felt by lovers; a warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion; or an unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”.
That brings me to the introduction of this series: Experiences in Love. Inevitably, any person with an opportunity to breathe in this world will have some sort of “experience” in love. For most, the “experience” is the overall pleasantness of romantic relationships. But as I’ve learned—and chronicled in my longtime journal, Triumphs & Tribulations—an “experience” in love can be rooted in different forms, triggered by different events. The “experience” could be the euphoric feeling during an engagement proposal. It could be the birth of a child. It could be the love of a parent, child, family member, or close friend. It could be a deep appreciation for one’s native country, state, city…or even their alma mater. It could be the love of a sport, a literary form, or something related to the arts. It could also be a story of love that was part of a heartbreaking experience such as a failed relationship, the death of a loved one, or an appreciation of a team after a championship loss. It could be a myriad of other things that trace back to love. The fact of the matter is that love is so vast and varied that any given individual’s “experience” is certain to be different.
When I started this blog a little over 4 years ago, I wrote in the opening post that I’d allow guest bloggers and contributors have a place here. To this point, I haven’t yet opened the doors for the words of others. That changes with this series. Over the course of this “month of love”, The Book of Juan will present various experiences in love by a number of guest contributors who have all agreed to share the stories behind their unique “experience”. I invite you to join me, in this month of February—and perhaps, many more Februaries to come—as I learn more about others and their experiences in love.