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Surprise keeps the passion burning in marriage, says Nina

Nina London and her husband, Bill Rosser (Photograph by Gregory Falkovich)

How to keep the romance going in marriage? How to keep the fire of love and passion burning for many years? Every couple has their own secrets and recipes. Bill and I found our own: we love to surprise each other.

This Valentine’s Day started out for me as any other day here in Northern Thailand.

We have been living in the storied Tao Garden Wellness Retreat Center for the last two months. In the early mornings, I pedal my bike through the sleepy village nearby. Scores of dogs are casually sprawled across the road and, with bored disdain, they eventually stand, stretch and move out of my way, yawning at the occasional creeping cars and trucks. This scene always makes me smile. I have never seen anything like it before.

Then there are the huge, grey water buffaloes, a symbol of Thailand, with their curving scimitar horns and big sad eyes, slowly ambling along the roadside, intent on their daily journey to the flower-speckled fields. Despite their immense size, they are gentle and docile. The sun is rising from behind the mountain ridges and layers of mist creep down from the sleeping jungle.

I feel I am living in an oil painting hundreds of years old.

The wind blows my hair back and is rich with smells of earth and water and animals and around the gentle bend is my favourite morning stop, the Yellow House coffee shop. I love to sip my morning coffee, then practise Qigong on its open terrace above the glinting emerald rice fields.

I am surrounded by blooming Sakura trees. There are extravagant butterflies and tiny hummingbird hawk moths dancing amongst the delicate pink flowers. I hear the cries of the farmers from far across the verdant valley as they herd their Brahmin cattle to pasture.

It is as peaceful and tranquil as any place on earth.

Suleyman, the slim and handsome Turkish gentleman who owns Yellow House with his lovely Thai wife, Taeng, makes me a latte, coloured orange with fresh turmeric and spices.

I feel the warm rays of the sun through trees alive with calling birds so strange and exotic I sit still in wonder and just listen.

Taeng brings me a piece of warm, freshly baked bread straight from her oven.

“Happy Valentine’s Day!” she says.

I laugh, close my eyes, and inhale the comforting aroma, thinking of how often my mother and grandmother baked bread in Siberia when I was a little girl; this is the smell of love and care.

Lost in my sweet childhood memories, a thought brings me back to the present; it would be wonderful to surprise Bill with a special adventure. I book a car for later that day and in the golden light of afternoon we drive beside a sparkling mountain stream to the remote San Kamphaeng Hot Springs.

Imagine an enormous garden full of vibrant flowers circled with lavish, blooming trees deep in the Thai mountains. Two geysers shoot bursts of hot water 65 feet up into the air. In the smaller pools you can boil eggs.

At the centre is a large swimming pool with silky smooth, body temperature mineral water. A warm waterfall cascades down the cliff and into the pool. We walk under the falls and hold each other. “Happy Valentine’s Day!” we shout amid the roar of streaming water.

It was exactly what I planned in the morning: to do something different and memorable for the person I love so much. It became a happy moment we will always remember.

Dear readers, It is up to us to create magical moments for the persons we love, and allow the exquisite butterflies of our dreams to fly!

Let’s make the eyes of our loved ones sparkle with delight and joy on Valentine’s Day and every day!

Nina London is a certified wellness coach, Qigong teacher and laughter leader. Her mission is to support and help cancer patients and survivors and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their body and mind. Share your inspirational stories with Nina at www.ninalondon.com and follow her on Instagram @coachninalondon

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Published February 24, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated February 24, 2022 at 8:00 am)

Surprise keeps the passion burning in marriage, says Nina

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