Saturday, August 21, 2010


The naked beauty of a peach

Timothy Winter, otherwise known as Sheikh Abdul-Hakim Murad, is one of the world's most infuential muslims. It may surprise you to know that his journey towards spiritual enlightenment began on our favourite island with the juice of a peach dripping down the chin of a naked French teenager.

According to The Independent (20th August 2010) young Timothy was packed off to Corsica at the age of 15 to spend some time with a French family. The family, which included four daughters, were enthusiastic nudists. It was while he was on one of Corsica's beautiful beaches that he observed rivulets of peach juice running down the chin of one of these young ladies and unsurprisingly the scene made a deep impression on him. Why not indeed - most of Corsica's beaches are outstandingly lovely and the peach was probably local!

Anyway, whilst taking in all this beauty, it occurred to Timothy that beauty is not just something that can be explained away by brain function. So started a spiritual journey for a very remarkable young man.

This story brings to mind a parallel Corsica story that happened to our family when our sons were in their teens and pre-teens. We stayed in Propriano in a big rambling apartment with another family on the top floor. The girls were around the same age as our lads and we got to know them all during trips to the beach, midnight snorkelling expeditions and barbecues. We didn't get as far as nudism, but as I recall it bikini tops were discarded at some stage and I am sure this contributed mightily to the older boys' enjoyment of the holiday.

I saw no sign of any spiritual development however - perhaps we needed a peach or two to complete the picture.

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