Contentment and conversation at twilight

Sharing stories - one of the defining characteristics of the human condition. BY DENNIS FORNEY
November 17, 2011


The image strikes me.  Two women sitting in porch chairs, knee to knee, simple conversation.  They're outside in the balmy air, enjoying being out in the night. The orange and yellow glow from a porch light beside their front door illuminates their faces, the movement of their lips and the easy motions of their hands.

Simple pleasures.  They live in the small units of the Huling Cove housing complex on Savannah Road in Lewes.  Twenty-four or more of those small, well built, well maintained apartments provide much-needed, respectable housing.

I recall that when they were built, on land where our government once housed German prisoners of war, and, later, members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the units were oriented with roofs that faced southward. It was forward thinking.  The housing folks figured that at some point solar panels could be installed on the roofs to help with energy costs.  That was when Jimmy Carter was president and the first waves of advanced energy independence were rolling over our shores.

If we do things right, we can find contentment - the kind that I saw in the faces and conversation of the women at Huling Cove.

They remind me of a bonsai that sits on my desk.  Beneath its preserved branches a pair of old men, one with a pipe, sit on a bench in animated conversation. It's a shady and protected spot beneath those old branches. I often imagine their conversations - one tobacco-driven, the other between pipes or still energized from the walk he took before stopping to chat beneath the tree.

Simple pleasures.  It reminds me of the fine short story that Ernest Hemingway wrote called A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.

Here's to simple contentment and the calming light of dusk and dawn.