Love (of the sort that I’m after) is earned not with vacuous gestures, extravagant gifts, or easy, last-minute, perfunctory glitz. Instead it takes patience, attention and thought, requires humility, tolerance, care. Ignore at your peril, neglect if you dare. Love (of the sort that I’m after) is safe. It bundles you up in its velvety arms and shields you from life’s inescapable harms, including the harm you inflict on yourself the troublesome thinking, the tireless drive. Love helps compassion and kindness survive. Love (of the sort that I’m after) is worth all the work it requires, the time and the toil. If you cultivate love as you cultivate soil, you will reap the rewards. And so I commit to you, Love. I am yours. Written for Bath Music Festival, set to music by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, performed by Andy Staples (tenor) and Alisdair Hogarth (piano).