The sun would skim the tops of the trees in the backyard woods, pouring golden light in through the kitchen windows. Hilary would move about washing the pans of roasted potatoes, dishing leftover poultry into plastic containers, and soaking brim stained wine glasses in soapy dish water. The house would smell of rosemary and heirloom tomatoes. Propped cookbooks would settle in shoved corners of the tiled countertops with recipes of suppers past. Drifts of steam from an electric kettle would dance upwards to lifted ceilings as boiled water would be poured into ceramic mugs garnished with english tea bags. A pitcher of whole milk would idle by the farmhouse sink patiently waiting for tea to steep. Dessert plates dressed with berry crumbles or pastry puffs with clotted cream spread across the dining room table as Hope sniffed herself around the kitchen, nuzzling at crumbs lining pine baseboards.
We sat across from each other as we did every late afternoon. A wrinkled napkin edging the side of the wooden table where your hands lay folded. Wire rimmed glasses dip low on your nose. The collar of your gingham button down misaligned under a well worn laurel green pullover. Your legs outstretched and crossed at the ankle as you settle yourself into a wooden chair. Our conversations were banter, english humor mostly. However, on this particular afternoon when Hilary would be found in her studio spinning wool from the alpacas in the fields and as the daylight lingered for a few more moments longer, you and I dreamt of heaven.
You had said heaven finds a way of sowing itself among us so we can be witnesses to how sweet life everlasting will be. We hopelessly reminisced over memories of how our heavens manifested. The stillness of the moors after a heavy rainstorm. Hymnals by piano. Handwritten letters received from countries distant. The quiet of a church in the early morning. A tree lined riverbank. Laughter shared with family. The melodies of a choir. A well worn book with dog eared pages and black ink annotations. Echoes of children laughing down cobblestone streets. Roast dinners shared with collections of strangers.
We recalled stories of things we had bottled and kept close to our chests sharing them with deep fondness. We listened to the sweet sentiments drip from our tongues mixing themselves with the last tastes of a crumble.
As I remember you, it’s that conversation we had over Hilary's rhubarb cobbler that I hope your everlasting is as sweet as what we had dreamed.