Florence and Harriet

“Harriet, can I talk to you?”

It was mid-afternoon, downtime at the Lightfoots’, and Florence had nipped back to find Harriet who was sitting between the woodstove and the window, darning socks.

“Surely, my dear. Can I get you anything? Are you ready for a hot drink?”

There was something about Harriet’s home that put its arms around you and gave you a hug the minute you came in. Flo smiled.

“Don’t you get up!” she said. “I’ll fill the kettle – will you have a drink too?”

“Jah, but just herb tea – peppermint or some such – something gentle on the stomach. The kettle has water in; it only needs a-setting on the stove.”

Flo moved around the quietness of the kitchen, getting their drinks, conscious of the peace around her like the fragrance that lingers after incense has burned; healing peace that had got into every nook and cranny of this home.

When their drinks were done, she placed Harriet’s within easy reach, and sat herself down on Harold’s rocking chair, the other side of the stove.

“Are you troubled?” asked Harriet? “It is about this marriage, jah? Is it rushing you?”

“Not rushing,” Flo said slowly, thinking. “As soon as I said ‘yes’ when Eb asked me, that was it – I had given my word. From that moment we might as well get married, because I’d given my commitment. I’m his.”