I discovered Hannah’s beautiful blog over a year ago, and quickly fell in love with her lovely, funny, writing and gorgeous photos. I was thrilled to meet her at a dear friend’s wedding in the fall, and am so honored to be featured on her blog today. This one is on hospitality–and should be a…
It’s no wonder, I think, that afternoon tea was started by and intended for women. Could men really enjoy to the same extent the delicate patterns and tiny treats? And yet, so engaged are we in our activity, in each other, in this moment that we don’t notice the sun slip behind the trees or the clock make its way around the numbers again. We drink pot after pot and then break out the Pimms and move to couches from chairs. And when day slips out and night draws in, I think, what a good use of a day. I wonder what could be quite as fulfilling as an afternoon tea with friends.
I’d shake your hand, but mine is full with all these little gods.
They weren’t so big when they first caught my eye. They weren’t so ugly either. No, they were pretty, when we first met, these little gods and I. And they fit so comfortably to the shape of my hand, so smoothly in my grasp, it was as though I was meeting a dear old friend. And so I put them on, like rings, just to enjoy for a little while, but they are rather reluctant to leave. So my hands are heavy, but aren’t they beautiful, with all these little gods?
The hum of the phone buzzes with the height of the he said, she said ordeal.
The anger escalates, and understanding dissipates as injustice rings its bell.
Suddenly that person, that immortal, that soul, has found its way under your skin
And a momentary slight that they have forgotten is written like a scar on your hand
So rather than cleanse it with grace and forgiveness, you’ve dug it out to let it burn
And the love with which you might have clothed the recipient of the he said, she said,
Is exchanged for a coat of crocodile skin.
The touch of the hand of this old friend felt familiar, like a favorite book. Her car felt the same as it did back in high school, only now with covered seats and the scents of palm trees and summer in January. The words off the tongue of this old friend were sweet and soothing, coated with the tones and inflections to which my ears grew accustomed back when I could barely ride a bike on two wheels. I hadn’t seen this old friend since we were both still dependents, still living at home, the immediate next step still a question mark. We placed our conversation in a drawer to preserve it, and when I saw this old friend in her new home and life, we pulled it out and picked it up right at the place we last left it. This old friend and I watched each other grow up, get braces, start driving, start dating. This old friend holds first hand pieces of the life even my husband will only know by stories. Time passed too quickly with this old friend, a day in the sun and the sand. But I know that however long until our paths cross again, she will forever be this dear old friend.
The sea is whispered to have powers that heal, so we raced to its waters for a taste of the salt. Sand and waves, the tide gave us freely, chapping our skin and enlarging our hearts. But more giving than the waters were the three sea soaked towels, and the girls that occupied them in sundress and hats. And more soothing than the lapping of the waves upon the sand was the laughter on the lips of these three dear friends.
There we lay, the four of us, sprawled out in the corner where our worlds overlapped. Somewhere in the middle of nature’s paradise, encompassed in a dome of white sands and breezy palm trees, but somehow too lost in conversation to notice the waters that sang or the skies that smiled; too joyous at re-remembering the word patterns and mannerisms so characteristic of each participant to hear the birds overhead. And so we lazed in the sun and burnt to a crisp, but our hearts couldn’t be more refreshed.