We sat by the hearth, a warm and inviting fire crackling before us. It was obvious this was their custom after the evening meal. Their conversation began as they seated themselves, nearly forgetting I was present. It was their habit, their ritual. It was here they recounted their day, hers at home within and his work in the fields. My mind began to wander until Clarisa's voice brought me back.
"And what brings you to our parts, Mr. Clancy?" Her smile was as warm and inviting as the fire. Her face beamed with every word.
"I am simply exploring."
"An adventure, I believe you called it," Reenie replied.
"Of sorts, I suppose." I leaned back into my chair and stared into the fire. "I have been a homebody, I suppose, most of my life."
"Well, there's something to be said for that," she answered."
"I live in the upper valley beyond these mountains." I smiled as I replied. I was hoping not to offend her, but a homebody's life was not fulfilling. "I have been there all my life. I am content within it's confines."
"I sense that is not enough for you." She reached out her hand laying it on my arm. I reveled at her touch.
"Adventure is for young 'ins." Reenie stared into the fire and began to rock slowly in his chair, its curved rockers finding their well-worn place upon the floor. "A fella's measure is the work he gets done; the family he keeps."
"That is something I have done near my whole life, sir. It is simply time for me to find another path." Clarisa withdrew her hand and looked to her husband.
"That was not always the case with you, my love. There was a time you looked beyond the fields and wondered what was over the next rise."
"Aye, a long time ago in a boys life." His voice seemed reticent, his mind searching for memories from a time long ago; a time lost. "I suppose it is part of who I am."
"A part I fell in love with, Reenie." I watched as her hand now caressed his arm. They were as one, from now till forever.