Remona Aly
Tuesday 14 February 2023 Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2

Testaments of love

Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2, Zoe Ball Breakfast Show

Testaments of love


Zoe, it’s bemusing that I got landed with a pause for thought on Valentine’s, when I’ve never actually had one. A letter sealed with a kiss has not been popped through the post, nor has Cupid lodged an arrow in my heart – apart from one I had to extricate myself from, as, man, was he a wrong ‘un.

I mean, I have had love interests come my way, and felt a flutter for guys too, but somehow it never quite matches up, and all the while the hashtag #unrequited gets stamped deeper into my forehead.

I worry that a creeping bitterness from watching happiness find its way to other people, while losing signal on its way to me, can make me less loving, and less loveable. And that the search for a soulmate has made me blind to the spectrum of love that dances in colour around my blinkered eyes.

Why is it that sometimes we allow the things we desperately seek – the absent, mythical things – hold more value than the gifts already within grasp?

When the doorbell rang in lockdown on a rather depressing, lonely birthday, I found on the doorstep – a surprise cake, a hamper and a mountain of gifts, dropped off by a beautiful friend who had driven hours to bring a smile to my face.

And I still remember the warmth of my cousin’s arm around my shoulder, as I stood helpless and crying at the side of my dad’s hospital bed, his silent embrace speaking more solace than words could say.

Just the other night, I was looking at the brightness of the winter moon, thinking of how it keeps waning and veiling itself from sight, yet really, its fullness is always there, waiting to be seen.

There’s something Rumi, the medieval Muslim poet and scholar wrote that I think of now. He said, “Love is an open secret. The most obvious thing in the world, and the most hidden, with no ‘why’ to how it keeps its mystery.”

Instead of looking for love in only one place, I’ll keep my heart open to all its apparent and hidden secrets. While I didn’t get a Valentine’s card through my letterbox today, it’s no matter, for testaments of love can come from any direction.


To listen click here Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2, Zoe Ball Breakfast Show