“Can you, with the simple stature
Of a child, breathing nature,
—The Way Of Life, According To Lao Tzu, translated by Witter Bynner
“Hey,” I greeted Xenon, sitting on a park bench in the gentle shade of a giant elm.
He lifted his smiling eyes from the book he had been reading and returned the greeting.
Out in the playground beneath the harsh midday sun his twin boys had already included my son in their game. They were tearing around the newfangled equipment in hot pursuit of first one then another.
“Where you been?” He asked, laying the book aside.
“Holidays, here, there,” I replied. He nodded, fully comprehending how the weeks slide past, involved as we both were in the wondrous mundanities of family.
“How’s everything?” I asked, taking a seat beside him.
“Couldn’t be better,” he said, gazing serenely out on the children at play.
A mother, young and beaming infinite love at her toddling boy, followed closely behind as he laboured manfully at staying upright. Xenon and I smiled at the sight, feeling the depth of flow between the two.
I glanced down at the book he had been reading, now lying between us on the bench. It was The Way Of Life, According To Lao Tzu. Years ago it would have precipitated a long conversation.
We merely sat there, smiling.