Things I would like to do with you one Valentine’s Day.


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“True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.”
~ Honoré de Balzac 

I would like to celebrate forty or fifty more Valentine’s Days, with you. But I have not met you, yet. 

I would like to meet you in the Old Harbor, or the Far-off Ocean Harbor, or in the Black and White City, or in High Lake Lands, or in Fog City, or in All Light or All Dark City, or in Café City, or in Empire City, or on a sailboat off the west coast of Mountain Peninsula, or in the top of the low continent, or in my mountain valley, or in any place that I have been or have not yet ever been.

I would like to see you in my home, or in your apartment, and in our future home together. I would like to buy you a potted plant instead of a dozen roses shipped and flown from far away where they were sprayed with poison by mask-less underpaid laborers—I would like our romance to be as healthy in its roots as it seems to be on the surface.

I would like to make love to you without touching you, much, for most of the day. From the first words and kiss and breath in the yellow sunshine morning to the shower and dogwalk and commuting (bicycle) to work, to dinner and a cozy movie or music, I would like to flirt and charm and cuddle, and entice and be enticed.

It is February and the snow is cold and the sun is yellow and the afternoon roads are dirt slush—Winter is undecided, thinking it may become Spring, already.

As you know I would like for you to be tall, and pale but with red cheeks when you’ve exercised or come in from the cold or I would like for you to be dark, and smooth, or with long rich hair or curly dark hair or straight hair—your eyes are green, or light, or dark amber—the color of my good scotch sipping at home on our loveseat reading too-long-ignored books, or cheap whiskey we drink too much of too quickly while playing happy hour free pool in the basement bar: I would not like to care what you look like, I would like to care how you look into me. Obviously, you have to be hot.

I would like to unbutton your oxford blue shirt dress and I would like to bend you down and up and I would like you to arch your back and make sounds in a strangely formal, sweet way, and when I bite your ear, lightly, or breathe into it, you shiver from down south straight up into your heavens. And I would like to take your dress back and expose your heart and, later, I would like to find a soft tee shirt for you to sleep in. Every night before we sleep I would like to look at the white moon against the quiet night and feel the fresh breeze upon my cool shoulders. And, before I turn to sleep, I would like to sit up and meditate.

I would like many things: I would like to love you, this Valentine’s. But you are too far away and you are too new to me and too unknown to me.

valentine's day green consciously

“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Perhaps you live work or play close by, but I do not yet know your story, your family, your books on your bookshelf, your habits and what you like to make for breakfast or dinner. I like rhubarb oatmeal.

Or perhaps you do not exist, and I shall be an old man wearing smoothed denim rocking in a chair (it will help my old back), staring out at my vague memories of my handsome uneven lucky busy exhausting, funny youth. An old man, I look out with foolish eyes at my faded hope of love and sunsets, gone dark, and so finally.

Now, I am at a time when I would like children. But first I would like to get to know you. I would like to travel for months at a go with you, first. I would like to enjoy ups and downs with you and know that we know how to sail, together.

I am at a time when I care for my dog—my best friend—more than all but a dozen human friends. For our fellow humans we hold to high standards. Humans forgive and are forgiven less easily than we forgive wayward rascally feisty dogs.

I work long and late and often…and I feel this day seeping away, I feel this life pouring through my tired hand like water—I can not hold it back. But I can drink the water: it is cool and refreshing to drink you in, to stare into your ocean eyes, to read the postcards of women who no longer love me and take them off of my orange refrigerator and put them away in a shoebox.

I am ready for love, but not yet marriage. I am ready for friendship, but not yet love. I am ready for romance, but not yet for arguments and making up and patience and jealousy and compromises…

…I wonder if when I kiss you how I will know if we will get to kiss one another forty years from now.

I am confident at this cliff, and I dive into space, out of my cozy life. I dive to you.

And so, this Valentine’s Day, the best laid plans unmade, I bow before the February snow, your youth and our confidence…this Valentine’s Day, I say I love you to whoever you are.

All that lies between you and I is time, and time is a mist, and it is morning, and it is late winter, and the day and the season shall warm, and I would like to see you soon.


“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.” ~ Oscar Wilde


THINGS i would like rough coverGet your copy of Things I would like to do with You.

Read more Things:

Things I would not like to know about the future Love of my Life.

Things I would like to do with You when I am Drunk.

Things I would like to do this White Winter without You.

Things I would have Liked to Say to You the Last Time we ever Spoke.

Things I would like for us to know before we Fall in Love.

Things I would like to say to you without you Knowing.

I would like to hear from you when you are confused.

Before I lose you, I would like to see you again and again.

Things I would like to do with you in Time.

Things I would like to Remember about our First Kiss.

Things I Would Like to do with You this Evening.

Things I Would Like to Do with You in the Woods.



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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view.


12 Responses to “Things I would like to do with you one Valentine’s Day.”

  1. Kayle says:

    Tears. This is beautiful and every single thought that was shared is something I too think, yet often keep to my (single) self. Thank you for bursting your soulful thoughts, heart and wants at the seams. Happy Valentine's Day to you and pup.

  2. I still love your mind. And your heart.

    And your work still makes me think of Walter Benton. Happy day to you!

  3. elephantjournal says:

    Via FB

    Richards Wow. !

    Asburry lovely

    Vanja R Who is author of this wonderful text?

    Jennifer W ️

    Erin C Beautiful

  4. Will Butler says:

    Incredible Waylon. Ready for a bound collection of these.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Sigh…whoever and wherever she is, we’re talking one LUCKY woman!! And I credit all the women in your life to date for whatever ways they contributed to your heart felt writings in this series. Happy Valentines Day!!

  6. victoria says:

    Thanks Waylon! Happy holiday! I love these articles! Just exquisite!

  7. Ka says:

    Your poetic offerings are my favorite part of elephant journal. Let us know when we can buy the book 🙂

  8. christine says:

    Stunning as ever, W. Brilliant, beautiful, and uncannily like my life as it is just now. How do you do it? Thank you again for taking time out of your busy, important life, to write for yourself, your love, and the benefit of others. Keep writing, then let's publish that book. -C

  9. Kimbell Sadler says:

    I love this! This piece expresses such a deep sense of longing yet is somehow interlaced with sparkle of contentment. This makes me happy and makes me feel the gentle paradoxes in love and life! My gratitude to you Waylon for capturing these feelings we all share and packaging them up in a love note to all of us!

  10. Emma Cochrane says:

    Your words are seeping into people’s existence across the planet. World wide love from you. I hope you meet her.

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