I have seen a thousand sunsets and sunrises, on land where it floods forest and mountains with honey-coloured light, at sea where it rises and sets like a blood orange in a multi-coloured nest of cloud, slipping in and out of the vast ocean.
I have seen a thousand moons: harvest moons like gold coins; winter moons as white as ice chips; new moons like baby swans' feathers.
I have seen seas as smooth as if painted, coloured like shot silk or blue as a kingfisher or transparent as glass or black and crumpled with foam, moving ponderously and murderously.
I have felt winds straight from the South Pole, bleak and wailing like a lost child; winds as tender and warm as a lover's breath; winds that carried the astringent smell of salt and the death of seaweeds; winds that carried the moist rich smell of a forest floor, the smell of a million flowers; fierce winds that churned and moved the sea like yeast; or winds that made the waters lap at the shore like a kitten.
I have known silence: the cold, earthy silence at the bottom of a newly dug well; the implacable stony silence of a deep cave; the hot, drugged midday silence when everything is hypnotized and stilled into silence by the eye of the sun; the silence when great music ends.
I have heard summer cicadas cry so that the sound seems stitched into your bones.
I have heard tree frogs in an orchestration as complicated as Bach, singing in a forest lit by a million emerald fireflies.
I have seen Whales, black as tar, cushioned on a cornflower blue sea, creating a Versailles of fountain with their breath.
I have watched butterflies emerge and sit, trembling, while the sun irons their swings smooth.
I have watched tigers, like flames, mating in the long grass.
I have been dive-bombed by an angry Raven, black and glossy as a Devil's hoof.
I have lain in water warm as milk, soft as silk, while around me played a host of Dolphins.
I have met a thousand animals and seen a thousand wonderful things. All this I did without you. This was my loss. All this I want to do with you. This will be my gain. All this I would gladly have forgone for the sake of one minute of your company, for your laugh, your voice, your eyes, hair, lips, body, and above all for your sweet, ever surprising mind which is an enchanting quarry in which it is my privilege to delve.