Thursday, 14 February 2013

A Love Letter

It’s been a slow but steady falling-in-love: the best kind as each tryst reveals a little more—a happy debriding revealing the smoothest of fleshy detail, an elegant striptease.

This new love started years ago. Things that were dear to you when you were young lose their appeal when new horizons open up. Then you come full circle and you seek out the familiar and it shows itself to you with a hint here and a detail there.

This love sees inside my soul and exposes me—reveals my inner mechanisms and sets forth a chain reaction with a hint and a nudge to make me fully alive.

Love is a chemical reaction, it’s true. It’s biological, physical, sensual. The dark, damp scent of the basement takes me back to my grandparents’ house and the thrill of exploring the cellar and feeling the cool stone against my bare summer arms.


Forget the grand central staircase, it’s ascending the back stairs, the polished wood smell and the precariousness of the steep steps that transport me to schooldays in another grand house not so far from here.

You know what it’s like when you are in love: any little gesture, remark or observation magnifies and metamorphoses of its own accord into some grand symbol. On my first day back there was talk in the lift of a book of guidance for mankind, here, in this place, a world within a world, thousands of miles and hundreds of years from its origin. There can be no greater sign than this.

Explore further and there’s a whole other world beyond the house. This one goes on forever. Its magic is revealed in the quiet of a frosty morning or just the long, grey hush of winter. Many of its inhabitants are rare and retiring but so fired up on pheromones and hormones the place makes you, you feel them looking out for you alone from the branches of the trees, protective, and calling from miles away a welcome or a warning of trouble.

It’s on the cusp now of bursting into full springtime glory. The days may still be chilly, but the light is more generous, and green shoots are showing through, there are red, black and green buds on the delicate branches, and a sense of hope as the life cycle returns to the beginning. There’s no joy greater than anticipating joy.

Yes, it is a new beginning, and this love is liniment for a bruised soul. It’s a gentle, powerful love, protective and restorative, engrained with the stories of those who have loved before me and ready for a thousand more…

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