I was quiet on the way back from Wilmington. Lyla was fast asleep and when Jenny and I did talk, our voices were hushed. I have never ended a visit with my children without a few sentimental tears. For years, I have waved and smiled-said cheerful things-and when they were out of sight, cried like a baby! It is a ridiculous habit and I realize that. I am making good progress though.
In spite of a gloomy departure, I did look forward to seeing my younger sons-and Cash and Christopher Robin-and the rabbit patch, itself. I took great pains to remind myself that going home was a joyful event-and it was. I tried not to think about saying good-bye to Jenny and Lyla and took great comfort that they are but an hour away. Thank goodness, I can make that drive easily.
As usual, the animals were the first to greet me. Cash, my boxer, is as sentimental as I am. He put on quite a show, jumping around and spinning. Christopher Robin, however, looked on from a distance. He seemed a bit disgusted that Cash would forgive me so readily for my abandonment. I wondered what he had broken, while I was away. He was still giving me the “cold shoulder” hours later when I poured him a small bowl of cream, though he drank it in a greedy fashion. He did not even say thank you, either.
Kyle and Christian had survived my leaving. They had not starved as I had feared and they had kept the house quite tidy. They are the last of my “little men” and I had missed them. While, I was away, I stored up great thoughts to talk to them about, the first chance I get.
Not long after settling in, I took a walk around the rabbit patch. Rain had fallen often and the garden is in poor shape. A storm, the night before, littered the grounds with all sorts of debris and as usual, my lilies were blooming but were laying over. The wind does this every year and I am used to it. My rose of Sharons are in full bloom and the quiet garden is especially somber as the roses seem on a holiday of their own. Kyle had mowed, but had not finished. The apples are scarce this year and small-and the pear tree shows no sign that it is a pear tree. The same can be said of the young fig trees. The ice of late spring put a halt to preserving fruit this year. The ginger lilies are a favorite of mine and look good for the wear and tear of the odd weather this year. Mine bloom in August and when they do-the neighbors know about it as they perfume the air with a sweetness that only the ginger lily can claim.
I had a bit of trouble sleeping and so I went out a second time-I often do , to say good night to the rabbit patch and the world, in general. I think feeling a lot of sad and a lot of happy all in one day had taken its’ toll. There were a million stars out and I could see every one of them. Only the country affords this view. I stood in starlight for a long while. I started asking hard questions as I looked up at the wonder overhead. I felt ashamed that the peace and strength that the ocean had given me was already faltering. I felt fickle. I realised that the ocean had not given me any answers , but instead such a great sense of peace, that I no longer had questions. At that moment, a star streaked across the sky.
This really happened. I am not a fiction writer, I assure you. I am a human with more faults than I care to count, but the Source of my writing is pure and generous and does not lie. I have heard that some people have never seen a miracle and others see them everyday. I guess it all depends on what one deems a miracle.
I woke up feeling restored and I am having coffee in a china cup , at the “morning table”. Christopher Robin is as grumpy as he was last night, so the shooting star did not effect him in the least. The sunlight seems muted coming in the old farmhouse windows. The only sound is the slight breeze blowing through the sycamores and a few song birds in the distant patch of young woods. Sunday dinner will be later today. I plan to fry chicken and green tomatoes- and make another cucumber salad. If I can scrape up enough apples, we will have a cobbler. I will gather some lilies for a vase and celebrate my homecoming in that simple rabbit patch way- and I will remember to be thankful for the millions of stars I saw last night- and most especially for the one that flew across the sky and told me plainly and in a divine nature that “All is well”.