My partner phoned me, out of the blue, in the middle of a typical day in my small, boring world.

“What are you doing?” He asked. (Was it my imagination or wishful thinking that I could hear longing in his voice?)

I could glamourise and embellish the truth. I could say something about kayaking in the Sri Nath National Park or running along the spectacular cliffs (which I often do, but not today).

Instead, in a small voice, I told him, “Oh, I’m just baking bread for dinner. I had a late start because I was reading through G’s essay. And I have a runny nose.”

He was silent. Then he said, “Show me what you look like.”

I thought of putting some make-up on. But what the heck,  I switched Skype on and showed him my unadorned face.

“Can I read you something short from Thay’s book?” He asked. “I just read it, that’s why I called you.”

“Sure,” I replied.

“Many people think of excitement as happiness. They are thinking of something or expecting something that they consider to be happiness. But when you are excited, you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”

~ Thich Nhat Hahn

“Happiness is such a moving target, isn’t it?” He said. “But one thing I know definitively is that I am very peaceful with you, Jac.”

“That will do,” I grinned. For on my bedside table is the book of Shams of Tabriz and Rumi which he gave me months ago:

That which is false,
troubles the Heart…
But truth,
brings joyous tranquility…
~ Rumi

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“The physical passion my body has for you is born from the peace in my heart and tranquility of my mind,” he said deeply, before we both burst out laughing at his sentimentality, we the two people who come from the same part of the world, a small corner of southern England where the once Hobbits lived. ‘Back in the nest,” as my big brother always says. “For the nest is the best.”

We gaan terug naar Winchester ❤