On the bike, we point out green rice paddies, the magnolia tree that is my favorite. A man passes, drenched in cologne. The scent lingers. I tell Chinua to take a road. It is the wrong road. We are on the bike for hours, have to cross by ferry in the dark. We reach it just in time, it pulls off just after we arrive. When we get to the eucalyptus forest, it has been dark for a while, and the trees are tall ghosts beside us.
He never says a word of blame about my wrong road. That's the kind he is.
We sit together, look at each other. We sleep and when I wake the hut is quiet. He is still sleeping. I drink my coffee, let him sleep. I write, I read. I wake him later.
We go for a walk on the beach, then wander down a village road. I find a magnolia tree that has red tipped flowers. I pick one off the ground. It smells like roses. This village is tiny, lovely.
We sit together, look at each other. It has been so long since these uninterrupted periods of talking and silence existed for us. Our small house, with our three boys and one exuberant girl, rings with sound! It echoes, it reverberates. It is almost never quiet. We almost never have a conversation without a small, lovely person interrupting us.
They are our greatest gift. We wouldn't have it any other way.
But I am so thankful for the chance to do this, right now. A dear friend watching them for we can get away for a couple of nights and just be together.
Later, swimming, fish curry and rice... more talking. More being together.