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It all started as a small spillage, a half a cup of water accidentally splashed on the floor. After the usual mopping up we left a little damp for the summer heat to dry.

If you remember the summer you will understand why we were not expecting immediate results – and tolerated the fact that two days later the patch was still damp. Later the patch had expanded but that was no bar to the routine of a busy day. It got larger…and wetter. Then white mould appeared.

Of course Mildew is the death of fabric, so our routine was abruptly turned on its head.  We found the cause to be a pipe quietly leaking for months and forming a pool under our floor. We had to rip up carpets, clear rooms of furniture, and endure blowers, de-humidifiers, and malodorous mould.

This glorious day was the festival of Janmastami, Lord Krishna’s day. It was to be a spiritual retreat, of fasting, and chanting. It was also the beginning of a much needed holiday. To add to the woe, my wife, who has suffered from ME for 12 years, could not cope and I had to bring her to a nearby hotel. I felt like crying – when do you get a break?

At the temple, during the midnight Janmastami service, I realised that rather than being deprived of my desire I was being given an opportunity to serve. My wife was suffering more than I was so I decided to spend the next three weeks caring for her – and I did so happily.

Lord Krishna, my desire is to serve you, and I offer what I think is best. Please let me know what You desire, and bless me with the grace to accept what you think is best. Hare Krishna

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