Herbs, Onions, The Book Of Proverbs, & Falling In Love

Dorcas Lightfoot was still lying-in from the birth of her fourth child, another boy. She had asked her cousin Florence to help her around the house during the last few weeks waiting for the baby, and the month or so after the birthing. Florence Line Sofie ten Eych, the third daughter of Dorcas’ mother’s brother Jonas ten Eych, had grown up with Dorcas as close as a sister.

Dorcas had met Silas Lightfoot in their late teens, when they were both taking time out of their faith communities to test their own personal soul direction. They had worked together on a temporary famine relief initiative overseas, and by the time the project had run its course, Silas could no longer imagine life without Dorcas, and asked her to be his wife.

She readily assented, and came back to live with him on the hof of the Old Order Forest Kindred of Believers, joyful to be at his side, but profoundly sad to leave behind the community where she was raised and where all her family lived; the Kindred of the Quiet Way.

The Quiet Way had been a last-century offshoot from the Forest Kindred, the result of a falling-out on account of a few loose ends of doctrine that wouldn’t tie up – Hell, the Lord’s Supper, whether a Sister might minister the holy Word, whether a man might grow a beard before he got married or not, and the speed of the sacred hymns – all the usual things. But the Kindred of the Quiet Way were close enough to the Old Order for inter-marriage; they were Plain folk and believers true enough.

Dorcas had shaken down cheerfully into the ways of the Forest Kindred; but even these seven years later she still missed the Quiet Way; and with each babe born seized the chance to invite cousin Florence for the longest stay a new mother could conceivably require.

Silas and Dorcas were squeezed in a bit tight with four little ones now – Silas meant to build on two more bedrooms come the Spring – but Harold Whichart, the Forest Kindred’s Servant of the Light and the Lightfoots’ closest neighbour, offered a bed for Florence while she was over helping out.

Florence was happy with this arrangement. She liked Harriet Whichart, Harold’s wife; and watching their son Andy grow like a bean-stalk into a strapping young troll measured by inches the years that had passed since Dorcas had gone from the Quiet Way.