My dear Jil, this is the story I was writing:
“He fumbled the key on the lock, prised it open and stepped into the house. As soon as he stepped in he could feel the atmospheric difference. The house felt cool. He interrogated the coolness. The difference was marked. His head told him the house felt cool because he was stepping in from the glare of a sun about to go home. The problem was, there was light in the sitting room. The sun managed to filter through the slits of the venetian blinds. So it wasn’t the absence of harsh sunlight that accounted for the shade in the house. Something else seemed responsible.He somehow picked the scent of his wife. It was warm and faintly thick. It seemed to fill the house. He could perceive her though she was upstairs. He “knew” her scent. He surmised everyone has a signature scent only an invested counterparty is aware of. We’re pheromonal. He could pick his wife’s scent in a lab crowded with smells. He just knew her scent. But then he picked up other scents too – indefinable scents of another genus. He could smell love in his home, literally. He could smell peace. He could smell joy. The chemical combination ladled his brain, his heart leapt for joy. But how do you smell peace? How do you smell love? How do you smell joy? “I don’t know!” he said to himself. But he knew what he perceived. And he knew that he knew that he smelt those things. Which made him realize we’re more complex than our material make up. We’re not just materiality. It’s as if his soul has olfactory capacities, which made him capable of smelling peace, love and joy. And then he realized it was the combination of those elements that made his home “cool”… That it was the combination of those elements that accounted for the temperature difference in his home… That sense of sitting under the cool shade of a tree in the summer… Of the breeze wafting above, leaves aflutter… That sense of ease from the troubles of this world, of relief from the anxieties of life… That sense of Thank God I’m able to shut it all out… shut that door against the elements… That sense of sitting near a river as it lolled lazily in the shallows, of fishes lounging. Those feelings he realized were produced by the combination of love, peace and joy in his marriage.
It’s been tough out there, he said to himself. The day was particularly tough. But he was glad he came home. It’s amazing, but all these somehow ran through his brain in less than ten seconds. He followed the scent upstairs, his wife’s scent. The other scents – the atmospheric scents – filled the house. And yet his wife’s scent and the atmospheric compounds of peace, love and joy were somehow related. All somehow had to do with his wife. They can’t be separated. As he bounded up the stairs trying to make sense of what cannot be explained, he realized he was glad. He was glad he had peace in his marriage. (He couldn’t survive otherwise). He knew deep inside that his wife truly loved him. It’s an indescribable feeling. But he also knew his wife was peaceful, that there were no contentions in their marriage. When there are contentions in a marriage there can be no peace. When will is pitted against will in a marriage there will be no peace. And when there’s no love in a marriage the environment will be harsh. On her part she always looks forward to seeing him. She’s always glad he’s home. They’re the best of friends. There’s an uncommon understanding between them. They have a commitment to one another. Love bound them together. They cherish one another, can’t imagine life without each other. In some way they were like brother and sister, as well as soul mates. She was devoted to him in ways many won’t understand. He was her life and she was his, despite his fears from an old experience. She loved fearlessly, packed all her eggs in one basket, their love a destination. She was into him, totally into him, and he marveled at that, often. Every day he thanks God he married her. Though the degree of blessedness wasn’t so obvious at the beginning. He just wanted to marry his friend, to marry someone who genuinely cared for him, someone sincere.
It’s been years since their wedding, their love matured like aged spirit in an oak barrel. He bounded to the floor and began the ritual of homecoming. She began the same. She was sitting pretty on the couch, looked really beautiful, going through 1004 things on her iPad. He hesitated at the door, like there was some apprehension about stepping in. At which she eyed him lovingly. He peered into the room like someone being careful. She asked him what he was apprehensive of… She was clearly glad he had returned. It was all over her face. And so the love ritual continued as he eased himself into the room in mock apprehension. He knew what she demanded next, as the end of chapter one of the evening. She stretched her neck on the couch, pouted her lips in anticipation of the “I’m back home” kiss. He kissed her on the lips, and she beat him playfully for no reason except love. It’s what they do every time he goes out, every time he comes home, every time they awake. That one kiss. That kiss is the summation of all the scents and all the loving atmosphere in the home. It’s the reason the atmosphere will continue to linger in their home, day after day, year after year. Who said husbands and wives have to fight and contend, that a home can’t be free of friction and rancour? Love makes all the difference!”
And that’s how far I’ve gone. What do you think? Does it minister to you?
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder| firstname.lastname@example.org