She remembered briefly how her parents and friends had urged her not to move to the country. What would she do there; how would she support herself when her life’s saving ran out? She had listened to them then and was grateful she followed her own inclinations and her grandmother’s wished and moved into the house.
Her mind skipped over her settling in and the excitement she felt as she planted her first crop of vegetable. She knew nothing of growing anything other than house plants when she started, but she soon learnt.
It was seventeen months to the day that he came. He walked right up to her stoop and said good, made it a good day and from then on a good life. “Peace to you and your swelling and a good day to you,” had been his odd greeting. The “how do you do” she replied seemed lame.
He was not from these parts. She knew all the people in the village from her summers spent there during her childhood. She did not know him though. After a few minutes of conversation her spirit remembered his in a twinning that began a long ago and she relaxed completely. She rocked, restarting the motion in the chair.
He had asked for water, looked like he had been walking a long way, and she had felt bold in inviting him to sit on the porch while she fetched him water. He blessed her when she handed him the glass of iced water. She imagined then that his blessing took in her whole life and felt good about it.
They had not made conversation after he drank his water and returned to her hand the empty glass. Somehow this was not uncomfortable. She had enjoyed the sitting in silence with this man whom she had just met.
Evelyn’s mind continued on its path of tracing her recent history as she restarted the gentle rocking motion of her grandmother’s chair. She saw afresh the strong hands of the man lying softly on the knapsack he had removed from his shoulder and placed on his lap. There was no tension in his movements, no extra gestures. Everything about this man was relaxed and confident. He appeared to be a most comfortable person.