There was no better place for me to be in all the world, than on the rabbit patch, this last Sunday. My “valley was green” and I knew it. The kitchen table was laden with good food and the folks sitting around it were the dearest treasures of my heart-and that sweet vase of zinnias made the perfect centerpiece for the occasion.
In the presence of love, all else fades. The flat tire on the car this week, seemed like it never happened on this day and even the the very old farmhouse didn’t seem nearly as shabby. It is true that “love covers a multitude of sins.” On this day, I was wealthy-with no fear of my assets losing value. In fact, the rabbit patch kingdom is growing, I realised. Lyla sat beside me and spent the most of the time, learning the mechanics of how to use a spoon. I watched her, so determined. She would not accept help and would not resort to using her hands. It is a joyful event when a baby is at the table. Her dad, Will became part of the family, a few years back-now, I do not recognize when, as he is such a part of us. It seems like he has always belonged to us. I call him, my “son -in- heart”. . .Kelsey already feels like family. Tres and Kelsey met a few years ago and I loved her right off. I loved her even more yesterday, when she wanted to pick grapes after dinner . I was glad she took enjoyment in such things. It says a lot about her, I think. Mama and daddy were there too. Mama told stories and said sweet things while daddy worried that I don’t have a spare tire at the moment.. . so all was well as it could be at Sunday dinner.
September itself, lent its’ blessing by way of a cool breeze that blew through the open windows. The sunlight was muted and cast dappled faint shade beneath the pecan trees. Butterflies were out and about on their mission to find the last roses of late summer. They looked like live confetti, I thought.
I am older now, and like everybody before me, I spent the first half of my life looking for what it took to make my life a happy one. Nothing I ever bought-or even made payments on lasted for long. Things have a temporary value and are liable to to break or get lost somehow. Whether “rust corrupts them or thieves break in and steal them” is insignificant-things are just debris collected in youth, I realise now.
This past Sunday, I saw what authenticity looks like. It was in the faces around the kitchen table-from the ones that had worried over me in the past to the one trying to use a spoon-and all those in between . After dinner, in the yard around the farmhouse, I watched mama showing Lyla a butterfly. The men were looking at the tire that had gone flat and deciding its’ fate. Kelsey and Tres were walking out to the grapevine by the time shadows fell long and low.
This was the grand conclusion of our time well-spent. It was as good a time as I have ever had. . . and it all happened on the rabbit patch- on Sunday.