As an artisan, we are excited to provide you with this platform to showcase your art. At House of Shine, we believe that the intersection between your talents and interests and a n…
A Heart That Shines
We are creating a nice little tradition in this February edition of Simply Westlake. Two years ago I wrote about “High, Low, Aha,” an evening family ritual that I love. Then last year I wrote about something else I love – community. Now this year, for the third year running, I am using the February edition of Simply Westlake to share yet another thing I love – the Head Heart Angel from Key Largo, Florida.
Her story has also been brewing for a little over a year. My family and I visited Key Largo between Christmas and New Year’s last year, and during one of my daily walks I noticed a wood, red heart lined with Christmas lights attached to a tree outside of a church. It struck me as special enough that on my way home I stopped to take a photograph.
The next day I doubled checked to make sure there was not a sign hanging to help explain why this lone red heart was stuck to a tree. There was none, so I chalked it up to a sweet holiday decoration and returned to Texas.
Then we returned in March for spring break and I noticed that the red holiday decoration was still attached to the tree. And that, in addition to what used to be a lone red heart, there were now other red hearts attached to fences, storefronts and telephone poles along Highway 1.
Sure that this was more than a coincidence, I asked storefront owners about the red hearts hanging outside their stores. No one seemed to know their origin, or if they did, they weren’t willing to share. I even Googled “red hearts in Key Largo” and still came up with nothing.
Eventually I returned to Texas and forgot about the red hearts… until returning to Key Largo for the third time in June. By then the number of lighted red hearts had multiplied yet again and now seemed to be everywhere I looked. Intent on finding the epicenter of this heart movement, I slid into reporter mode searching local newspapers and interviewing local officials. I wanted to find the person responsible for stirring the hearts and minds of others who, like me, were growing increasingly curious about the mystery of these multiplying hearts.
For I knew that behind the red, wood, lighted hearts was the heart of someone who shined. And I was right, because when Marietta and I finally met at a quiet little coffee shop, she modestly told of how she handmade each heart and hung them in the middle of the night. She intentionally remained anonymous and never explained the meaning of the hearts, because Marietta said, “That is the way love should be given – freely and without expectation.”
Then freely and without expectation Marietta sent me off with a seedling – a way to begin spreading love in the great state of Texas. You can see mine from the twelfth hole of Vaquero’s golf course.
Look out, though, because the next one might just show up in the middle of the night in your yard.