In August, days at the rabbit patch begin with morning clouds. The clouds seem to alter time, all because they alter light. Fog seems to whisper “good morning” tenderly. As a child, I rushed outside , when fog covered the farm. I wanted to ” play in a cloud”. I knew that farm like the back of my hand, but the mist of a foggy morning made it mysterious and unfamiliar-and I liked that. Now -a-days, I am apt to drink more coffee and take my own sweet time about doing things when the rabbit patch is covered with fog. The morning clouds make me quiet. It is a good time to write by the soft light on the morning table.
The mower is high and dry at last. After Sunday Dinner, Daddy was determined to get it out of the fish pond. Kyle and Christian were coming home later but I couldn’t convince Daddy to wait on that. I never have had much luck at “convincing” him of anything. The grass could stand to be mowed again anyway, I noticed yesterday. I also noticed the ginger lilies. They show no sign of blooming this year. It is a shame as they are one of the best things about August. Their flowers are far from spectacular, but their scent is divine. When they bloom, the neighbors know about it.
I almost set the clocks yesterday at the rabbit patch. I have been working the last few days at school but without a schedule as I don’t have to officially be there til the 18th. I decided against it and left batteries off the shopping list I had given Kyle. When I was young, the school calendar was set around the crops. If the crops were late, then so was school. Either way, we never started school til after labor day. I spent the late days of a summer in the packhouse barn. The barn was full of dried tobacco. To this day I love the smell of tobacco drying. My mama would work all day taking the tobacco off the sticks it had been “cured” on. Grandmama and an old lady named Ida, graded the leaves and sorted them in piles to be packed and taken to the warehouse. I learned nursery rhymes and songs in the packhouse. I guess in a way I was “raised in a barn”.
When folks started grading tobacco, school was about to start. My older cousins were in school a while before me. I wanted to wait for the bus with them-and I wanted to hold Chuck’s lunchbox while we waited. Chuck did not want to be seen waiting for the bus with a little girl-and he did not want me to touch that lunchbox. His mama, my Aunt Josie made him give it to me anyway. When the bus came around the curve, he would snatch it fast and run. I learned to let go quickly. Chris, Chuck’s younger brother , had a new bike and he always showed it off to the school bound children on that bus. Chuck had “school clothes” too and they sure didn’t look like what we were wearing. Chuck wore sweaters that matched his pants. His hair was combed and he carried a book sack. I have never forgotten the day, that Chuck did not get off the school bus. This was way before cell phones and security cameras. Chuck was lost! There was panic on that farm, when the bus rolled by and he didn’t get off of it . The adults were scared and started rushing in all directions. The kids were told to sit quietly-and we did in great fear that Chuck and all his accessories were gone forever. I don’t remember any details about who found Chuck. All I know is he had started walking home and showed up at suppertime. Chris and I decided we were never going to school! It seemed very unreliable.
Last night, when I went out, a fingernail moon was shining a faint light on the rabbit patch. The air was hazy and thick. I saw Venus shining all alone and doing what it could to help the moon out. Just that bit of light made a difference to me. I thought about that again this morning when the blanket of fog was covering up the sun. I saw that the morning glory vine had flowers, when I went to the car. Morning glory has been a long time favorite of mine since I was young. Farmers do not like them, as they get all tangled up on the tractors. I have some that grow as they please on the rabbit patch and they show up cheerfully in the morning clouds of August.
Sometime, I may need to remember that just a little bit of moonlight, a single star shining and morning glory blooming are all it takes to light a path. A little light makes a big difference and I will carry it with me -when I leave the rabbit patch and the world is mysterious and unfamiliar – and is covered with morning clouds.