Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It was beautiful.

In the middle of his twenty-seven months with the Peace Corps, Steven came home for a few weeks. It was a summer visit, July, the first time we'd seen each other in over a year. With all the holidays we'd missed together behind us and all the holidays to come before us, we decided to take a day to celebrate Christmas.

I think I've talked about this before.

I made waffles in my parents' kitchen, standing barefoot in the Jasmine pants I bought at a market in Spain. My friends thought they looked ridiculous, but I liked the feel of scarves on my bare legs, my only complaint was the elastic at the ankles, which cut in to my skin.

I set the table with speckled blue and white plates and blended Orange Julius. I played Bing Crosby's Christmas album and warmed the syrup which, it turns out, Steven doesn't really like.

He walked into the house without knocking, and hugged me withe one arm, the other arm behind his back. He surprised me with a soft green hydrangea, the first flower he'd ever handed me himself.

I cut the stem and put the flower in water, in a cup on the table. We ate breakfast, me with my waffle dripping in melted butter and syrup and him with butter only.

He went back to West Africa a few days later, got sick with mono and spent a couple weeks in bed.

That hydrangea, hardier than any I've ever seen, lasted almost a month, long enough for Steven to get better and return to his village.

Maybe it borrowed his health, pulling it from his hand as he carried it to me on our Christmas morning.
Maybe it was just mimicking our patience, lasting longer than anybody thought it could.

1 comment:

  1. So sweet. And so well-written. :)