We sit by the window that acts as a greenhouse, the winter sun warming our skin and the spilled over laughter stirring our souls. I wonder, as we give each other noteworthy news and absorb it, how so much can be said to fill in a gap of two weeks. I take note of new inflections in the voice, of a catch word or phrase I’ve never heard off her lips, and smile comfortably again when I hear an old one. The kettle has whistled and the pot has steeped; we raise our china cups and sip the warm contents. So comfortable is both this friendship and drink, that I can only be content in my sun heated seat, as we partake in the age old tradition of afternoon tea with friends.
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.