Each day he rose from bed at six, and made them both a cup of tea, “It’s looking cold” he might remark, or “Getting light out there I see.” He was a man of fixed routine, who liked to live predictably and somewhere far beyond his gaze stood the mighty Pyramids, memorials from a distant time: homes to pharaohs long since dead, yet provisioned for eternity.
Each weekday, as he had for years, he sat behind his office desk, working on electoral roles at the town hall office near his home, watching the names come and go, marking out the births and deaths and talked about the voting age, and far beyond this cloistered space, a river flowed inscrutable between its steep and rocky banks: becoming the Niagara Falls,witnessed by an awestruck crowd who stood and ate their sandwiches,
Every year it was the same; he planted out his vegetables, potatoes furthest from the lawn and up against the garden fence, a decent crop of runner beans. A shadow crossed the window frame, his wife was always at her chores and far away, beyond his view, a mighty iceberg broke away and started slowly on its voyage, populated by some birds, and even by a polar bear, watched from a passing ship by tourists gathered on the deck, wondering at its growling might.
On Sunday’s they might take a walk, depending on the time of year; nodding at familiar sights, or share a coffee with some friends and talk with them on this and that: exchange the news that neighbours share and far away, beyond their sight, the people of the Himalayas, respectful of life’s mysteries and shielded from the bitter cold, could raise their eyes in quiet respect and trace the mountains, carved by ice and forces from the earth below.
And in the evening, home at last, sitting together at their meal she might raise her eyes to him, and in their depths, for all to see, was all the wonder of his life: that she with gentle empathy, soft as the light from shining stars, might share with him her purest gift; a love of rare simplicity.