By most accounts, the last Sunday in October, passed in an ordinary fashion. The sun came up and brought its’ shine . The laughing Pasquatank River , like a mirror reflected the glory the sky yielded. Lately, the river has looked like glass every day Will, saw the whole thing and it made me sorry I had missed it. It also made me glad he did not. It said something about him that words will not do justice to explain.
Lyla woke up, and not long after waking, said “Honeybee”. Now, that was “golden”. I have been “Bee” just a short while and now “hu -bee” this Sunday morning!
Late in the morning, Lyla and I took our walk. It was an especially warm day. We met a neighbor , the owner of one of the tiny cottages, that I adore. She was as gracious in spirit, as her home is in charm. I could tell that I liked her right off. She even extended an invitation for a visit-and I look forward to that.
A few blocks over, two small sisters were literally dancing around, as children are apt to when they feel joyful. “Tomorrow is Halloween!” rang out and “No school either!” You couldn’t help but be happy with that kind of celebration going on. I hope I see them tomorrow night.
In the afternoon, Will visited his mom, who lives just five minutes away. She sent me a book, that is sure to be a favorite. as the subject is Christmas. It is a collection of old fashioned recipes, old photographs and Christmas literature-even carols.
In the quiet of the evening hours, I thought about all of the moments the day had held. It is the little things that had made the difference. From Will’s account of the sunrise to Lyla’s good morning “honeybee”-from the sisters’ dance , to meeting a friendly neighbor. . . and the gift of a Christmas book, I love-I thought about how all days are made up of moments and if I but consider the contents of any ordinary one of them-It is likely I will find something to be glad about.
Once again, I left after school on Friday for Elizabeth City. Sometimes, things just work out. We do not have classes Monday or Tuesday , and it just seemed I was destined to see Lyla wear little wings and wave a wand about, on Halloween.
There was a lot to do on Saturday. Will and Jenny were having a “dinner Party” in the early evening. It would be the first one in the new dining room with the glass chandelier , that I just love. Of course this occasion warranted a thorough house cleaning and the yard tidied up. There was fancy food to prepare -and there is always, Lyla.
Will set about his tasks in the yard. Lyla was quite interested in this affair. It involved dirt and digging. Children are always drawn to such things. Lyla dug in some potting soil and transferred it to the bird bath with diligence. I did not hinder her great effort, but instead was amused to see her learning about careful movement. She would stop ever so often and watch her dad intently, then remembering her work would dart back to the soil she had claimed.
Jenny worked in the house, and at lunch we all discussed our progress. Jenny was concerned about the complicated recipe to be prepared and there was still more housework. Will had an agenda that involved errands and a mirror to hang. Lyla and I had our plans to stroll by the river-far away from all of that busyness . So, we went our separate ways in the afternoon.
The river that laughs, was smooth as glass on this day. Lyla and I stopped to consider that, for awhile. Later, we walked by a small grove of pine trees. I love the smell of pine warmed by sunshine. A flock of blackbirds chattered noisily in a large cypress as we passed it. You could hear them from a good ways off. What a ruckus, I thought, but it was a happy sound. I love blackbirds in spite of their lowly reputation. They are are impressive in the air- a “song and dance” act of sorts-and when blackbirds fly, winter is upon us.
We did not see one friendly cat on this walk, but we did smell the sweetest rosebush on Raleigh Street and we saw dogwoods turning all shades of red. Against the royal blue October sky, it was a pretty picture.
In the Evening
When Lyla and I returned, Jenny was ready to begin the worrisome recipe. I have cooked all of my life and feel quite at home in a kitchen, but I must admit, I was a bit wary of this new concoction of ingredients I wasn’t used to. I did not know their nature nor habits in a simmering pot. I was more nervous about Jennys’ dinner that I had ever been about any of my own.
I considered arranging a centerpiece, but Mandy who owns Pansy & Ivy, was invited and has such a gift with flower arranging that I declare her an artist in her own right, and upon that consideration, I abandoned my notions. As it turns out, she brought a sweet arrangement and it was perfect. She also brought a pie and she could probably sell pie, too, I noted, later.
Another guest, Sarah has a reputation for her cooking skills and proves that frequently -so I sure hoped that the chicken in the heavy sauce would turn out.
The table was especially pretty. Everyone said the dinner was perfect. Each family carved a pumpkin afterwards. Lyla played with the masses of seeds while the older children contemplated the fate of their own pumpkin.
All things considered, this day in Autumn with its’ blackbirds singing and fancy dinner was a time to remember- and its’ memory may well come in handy on a long night in winter when there’s a cold wind blowing.
The October climate deserves a crown. For the last few weeks, any given day could have been a post card-with bragging rights. I watch the dawning of the day, on my drive to work. Light changes with hues of orange, lavender and pink and all shades in-between. Finally a golden light proclaims that a new day is born. In the evening an equally impressive, sunset paints the sky, so beautifully, it will stop you in your tracks-such is the way of October.
The rabbit patch is carpeted with a soft layer of leaves now, and I don’t mind that. The huge sycamore leaves do require attention more frequently as they are quite large and tend to curl upon drying. They cause you to wade through them and so I have been in the habit of building autumn fires, where the tomatoes used to grow. The oaks do not warrant such measures til Thanksgiving. Frost has not yet fallen on the landscape, so the leaves on the ground do not yet make a flamboyant statement.
While the fired burned brightly, last night, I took notice of the night sky. The stars do not show up in the great numbers they did a few months back, but they seem much bigger. Now, the constellations are easily recognizable. There is just enough moonshine now to light the path I walk.
A wild kitten is very curious about the fire and will keep me company-as long I keep my distance. The flames and warmth, seem to put us both in a trance, of sorts. It acts as a natural tranquilizer and strands us both in silence.
Supper is late on the days I burn leaves and branches. I do not dare leave something cooking on the stove while a fire burns brightly in the kitchen garden, for small fires have a way of making one forget everything else in the world-especially time. Pine cones, which are handy for starting a fire, produce flames that are blue and green. I am convinced that even the most diligent can not bear to look away from the fire when pine cones are burning.
I can not harbor resentment in the presence of a fire brightly burning in the kitchen garden. Under a sky scattered with silver diamonds I feel small, yet not insignificant. My perspective shifts and I have a sense of well-being as the flames seem to induce a trance, of sorts. The cares of the world seem to “go up in smoke” along with the branches from the old apple tree.
Nature may be the best tranquilizer of all, for sky and water and fields and mountains . . . woodlands and even, old rocks and garden fires, all lend a sense of peace, I think. Somehow, nature survives calamities and being mistreated, without malice. Nature seems to spend its’ energy on restoration, instead of seeking revenge . . or even justice. Nature is not greedy nor wasteful. It is a worthwhile sermon, to consider and it serves me well, to consider . . .while the fire burned brightly.
Lately, when a day ends, I declare its’ beauty and feel certain it is the “fairest of all”. Then the next day unfolds, just as worthy as the one before it. The sweet, bright light of October acts as a tonic and hinders any chance of weariness. Nothing seems impossible under an October sky-in fact it is a good time for “wishful thinking”.
I managed to get in a short walk with Lyla yesterday, before I left for the rabbit patch. Friendly people were working in their yards and a lot of people were walking their dogs. The sunshine was brilliant and Lyla fell asleep before we got home. I left before she woke up. It is always bittersweet when I leave, but Will and Jenny had accomplished a lot in their house and yard-and Jenny had the kitchen smelling like supper, so all was well.
The drive home was pleasant. Traffic was light and the drivers were well-mannered. Conditions were just not favorable for discord of any sort, I thought. October can soften a heart of stone, I believe- or at least make you think twice about Heaven.
When I arrived back at the rabbit patch, the sun light was warming up the leaves that had fallen and the scent of autumn filled the air . The boys weren’t home, but my favorite boxer, Cash welcomed me like a long- lost friend. Even the wild kitten said hello, though it was with hesitation. Christopher Robin put on airs and held a grudge until supper time .
I always leave plenty of food cooked up for the boys when I go to Elizabeth City. Mama sent food too and a cake. It makes no difference to us that they are grown, we are convinced they may starve to death while I am gone. There was no sign that a cake had ever been here, so I had some left overs in the quiet farm house as the sun was setting.
I went out later to say goodnight- and to try taming the wild kitten, again. There was less moonshine than the night before . The air felt brittle and likely to splinter if I made a sound, so I sat with a wild kitten in the scarce light of a late October moon-and I just loved everybody.
Now is the time to hear the song of the wild geese in flight. Leaves are hinting in subtle ways that their glory days are not far off and the chill in the wind causes me to consider the condition of the wood stove. It is also the time when fields lay golden until evening, when they become an expanse of warm russet. In either state, a field says it is autumn.
There is something therapeutic about looking at large open spaces.. It rests the mind and can provoke us to have the deep thoughts we have been putting off. This may be the longing people answer when they are drawn to the ocean or the vistas of the mountains.
Yesterday, I left for Elizabeth City, the minute school was out. At that time, it was a warm October day. It was a lovely drive past pumpkin stands and houses with chrysanthemums on porches. There is about a mile that the drive takes me past fields that are vast. The late day sunshine fell on them and lit them up . Now and then, leaves took to the air and it felt at those times like I was driving in a parade that celebrated October.
It was still dark, when I woke up. I went out anyway armed with coffee. There was a cold wind blowing and rain had fallen in the night. There was no evidence of the squirrel community, but a cardinal showed up and did great justice to his species, as he was a very bright red.
I did not feel inclined to tarry, as the cold wind was steadily blowing. I went in to read. At some point, there was light and everybody was awake and hungry. After breakfast, Jenny and I took Lyla to a farm that had a pumpkin patch, a corn maze and several small animals. The wind had settled to a light breeze and the morning had warmed to a bright and beautiful day. Lyla came home with a small pumpkin and I had several ears of bright yellow corn to contribute to Will and Jennys’ new porch. It was a good way to spend a morning.
We ate lunch outside in the fresh October air. Afterwards, Lyla and I took a walk, as is our habit. I have learned a fair amount of new street names, though I can’t yet remember their exact location. I do know, that on Raleigh Street, there is a rose bush with a very sweet scent. A friendly little boy with a dog, named Noah, live on Woodruff, and play under a huge old magnolia tree. We walked an hour and went down many little streets, but not for love nor money, can I tell you the name of the street with the big yellow cat that lays under a dogwood.
Jenny got a lot of things in their place, and Will worked in the yard again, while Lyla and I were sauntering through the village-like community. It is a beautiful thing to watch a young family “setting up housekeeping” and even more endearing, when they are your own. More than dishes, go into a new home. Maybe the hopes and dreams of the young couple, outnumber the furnishings.
In the last light of the day, a flock of wild geese flew over the laughing river and filled the air up with the sound of autumn. . . for when fields lay golden, the first frost is no longer a fortnight away.
I am quite sure that all the world sings in October. I saw the sun rise this morning on my drive to work-and this day was born in a beautiful manner, I can assure you-and worthy of a song. It started off with the fog that has become very familiar. The sunlight was muted and it turned the gray fog a lovely shade of pink. Nature is full of surprises and one never has “seen it all” as we think, I realised. As the sun reached the tree tops, it crowned them in gold. The trees whether stately or not appeared to shine themselves. This morning, would be a hard act to follow.
October is full of wonderful and beautiful-in many forms. The climate is particularly pleasant with its’ bright days and cool nights. I find it difficult to be inside when I am convinced that every day is the grandest that has ever been. Today, I spent my break outside. It was for just a few minutes, but long enough for me to disturb a covey of small birds under the persimmon tree. The fruit is far from ripe, so I did not feel so bad about it. Just past the persimmon tree, a bluebird was foraging in a carpet of bright yellow leaves. This is why I love October, I thought.
Leaves tumbled across the road, on my drive home. The wind today was friendly and without malice, as it had been just a week ago. I pulled in to the rabbit patch and drove by the pumpkins and the yellow chrysanthemums on the porch-and I thought, this is why I love October, too.
All of the days’ inspiration showed up on the kitchen table. It just seemed like the day warranted a celebration of some sort and so we had a “Sunday dinner” on a Tuesday night. I made extra gravy for Cash, Christopher Robin and Christopher Robins’ little friend. I have been trying to “tame” the small kitten anyway, and thought surely gravy would help-and it did. I carry a little dish out each night with some sort of temptation in it. He eats greedily and allows me to sit near enough to rub him. This night was no different.
He and I sat together, though there was a good foot between us. The moon rose up and cast its’ shine like it has a million times before, but that fact did not diminish the effect it had on the rabbit patch. . . and I thought, this is why I love October.
Saturday was as beautiful a morning as the one before it. I went out expecting to find the usual circus of the squirrels in the yard-but no, the yard was as still as it could be. It made me smile to think that maybe the squirrels needed a rest-and it was well-deserved. The birds sang anyway and the sun brightened the yard in lovely increments.
After a quick breakfast, Will and Jenny went to fetch a load of things from their previous house, and Lyla and I took a stroll. I have been discovering new streets in the Riverside Village. On this day, I found a street full of very old small cottages. They were painted in lively colors and some were adorned with flowered shutters. The exterior trims were ornate and quite appealing. Flowers grew in every yard and there were wind chimes that tinkled in the slight breeze. The yards were small, but were made the most of with all sorts of things growing everywhere. I suspected the residents were lovely folks and very artistic by nature. I loved them for saving the cutest little pieces of history I have seen in a long while.
By Afternoon. . .
The afternoon was as wonderful as the morning though it still warranted a light jacket. Lyla did nap as she ought to. Will worked in the yard and Jenny put things away. Lyla and I managed an early evening walk. We walked past the time of the low slanted sun rays. I started missing my boys-all of them, all at once. This happens to me frequently when I have a nice visit with any one of them. To me, they are a unit and it feels incomplete when we aren’t all together, no matter how nicely a visit is going. It is an impossible conflict, other than a few times a year. I understand fully the logistics of the situation, but I am a mother and a mothers’ heart feels as it is inclined to do so without any regard to sensibility at times. I was having such a good time and wished the boys were with me, this autumn night.
When the sun had clearly set and with darkness at our heels, Lyla and I began the walk home. I was in a bit of a hurry and trying to keep my bearings straight. My landmarks are things like the huge magnolia , the house with the white dog or the house with the large lantana bush. Why I do not pay attention to signs is beyond me. It was almost dark and I had decided we were on the right trek, when a lady walking a cute little dog stopped for me to admire him-and I did. She asked if I had seen the moon on the river tonight and was horribly shocked when I said no. She insisted I stop immediately and head in that direction. She convinced me. It felt sinful not to take advantage of what she had described as the “the most beautiful moon that ever was”. So, taking a sharp right, we headed for the river. I smelled supper cooking in the homes and felt like I acurately named their fare several times. Lights in the windows were shining brightly and muffled voices could be heard as windows were being shut. It made me happy to see families safely gathered.
When the moon on the river came in to sight, I was not the least bit sorry I had met the lady with the little dog. Lyla and I were the only ones at the rivers’ edge and we watched the moon shining in silence. I thought of Alfred Noyes and his beautiful description of moonlight-“the road was a ribbon of moonlight”. I also thought that this moon was shining on my sons and it comforted me to think of it like that.
On the way home, I declared this Saturday to be one to remember and so I tucked the memory deep in my heart-where such things are kept.
Friday morning dawned with crisp air that snapped with song birds calling out to one another. The squirrels were as diligent as ever about their work and I watched them a while. The sunlight was golden and so was everywhere it fell.
After breakfast, Lyla and I donned sweaters and took off on a stroll. This is a habit of ours and we walk no matter the weather-but todays’ climate was as perfect as it could be. The sidewalk is laced with sun and shade. Autumn flowers bloom in the yards and the dogwoods are decked out with red berries and auburn leaves. Some of the streets remain slightly flooded so we abandon our familiar route. We have several new friends because of this. Some of them are cats. Some are trees.
In the Afternoon
Lyla barely napped in the afternoon. Jenny had to write a paper and she is still unpacking. I caught up on some reading while Lyla poured things out and picked them up again. The afternoon was too glorious not to be out, so Lyla and I walked again, for a good length of time. I followed the sidewalk down little unknown streets. I so love the traditional picket fences and many of the cottage-like houses had them. Periwinkles that look so delicate, adorned the fences profusely, having braved a hurricane and the brisk autumn air. If all goes well, periwinkles reseed and I mean to plant some next year.
I found a new route to the laughing river and so we strolled for at least a portion of the way as we used to. I was glad to see that the homes were not damaged though an ancient oak had fallen. It saddened me terribly. The trunk was as large as a dining room table. I suspect a good many critters called it home. I love trees and consider them about as important as the house on a property. I do hope to always have an old tree growing wherever I call home. I am thankful for the hand that plants a tree.
Before it was dark. . .
Jenny had an errand to run downtown. Elizabeth City has an old-fashioned book store that sells mainly books. Not toys and clothing to mimic a cartoon character as some are in the practice of doing. Of course, I love this place thoroughly. On this day it was closed, as many businesses still are, due to the storm. Two young children were peering in the book stores’ large window. They were on their tip-toes and had their hands cupped around their eyes to cut out the glare, for a better view. It was a cute sight and I wondered if they were making Christmas wishes. I hoped so.
The Night on this Friday
When the sun rays start to slant, night is not far behind. Jenny finished her paper and read it aloud. The topic was a difficult one and I am sure there was little pleasure in composing it, but she did a fine job. Lyla was tired early as she had all but skipped her nap earlier. It wasn’t long after dinner, that we all declared it would be an early bedtime for all of us. I planned to read when the house was quiet, but I was unable to keep my eyes open for long.
My last thoughts were feeling grateful for periwinkles growing by picket fences. I thought how I loved little cottages with friendly cats and dogwoods with their cheerful, red berries. This was a very good Friday.
I like to go out first thing in the morning, not long after waking. If weather permits, I always do so and have my first cup of coffee. in this way, I come to know the community of small animals that call the territory home, as we do. This morning I saw a band of squirrels working feverishly. My presence did not seem to make a bit of difference. They were too busy to glance my way, let alone give a morning greeting. A robin watched with me and I think he too was impressed with the agility and speed of the squirrels. They dashed about rapidly as if they were terribly late for something very important. I am glad I am not a squirrel, I thought.
I hadn’t been sitting long, when a bookmobile pulled up and parked near the corner. My daughter has not lived in her new house long and so it was a pleasant surprise. This may be “old hat” for many people here, but we do not have this service in Farm Life, and I had not seen one since my own children were little. If I were a resident, I’d have signed up this morning!
The Latter part of the day. . .
Jenny had errands to run-one being a check up for Lyla. All was well and I like the friendly and sensible doctor, who said Lyla was “perfect”. I napped with Lyla after lunch. I didn’t mean but to lie down, but I fell asleep, while Jenny unpacked some things and placed them in their new homes. Lyla and I took a stroll in the early evening and I met two sisters who built small homes that are joined by a living room. It is a neat arrangement and it reminded me of the beautiful bond of sisters-and family in general. The economy we face in our later years is daunting, so these sisters got creative and somehow it encouraged me.
When the Moon Was Rising . . .
I called Kyle and Christian in the evening. All was well at the rabbit patch and Christian did feed the kitten, which I will call “Ruth” if it is a girl.
Before bed, I took Lyla out to see the the light of the moon on the river beneath it. The Pasquotank river was so still, it seemed like a huge mirror. Lyla was very quiet and watched the scene intently. There is a certain look she gets on occasion and I do not speak when I see it. She is thinking great thoughts or at least giving great consideration to something. She and I watched for a while- or a year. At some point, she raised her little finger, pointed up and said “moon” , for the first time.
The content of the most ordinary days holds some splendor it seems, if I but examine the moments that made them. It is not a difficult task and most often beauty just leaps out and presents itself. Whether the moonlight falls on the river beneath it, or illuminates an old oak growing by a ditch bank, makes no difference. The day does not withhold beauty from any segment of the population, but instead is generous with all that seek it.
I sure was happy when the lamp on the morning table came on yesterday. Within moments, I had a load of laundry going and I started washing dishes, soon after. Kyle cooked on the grill as we had planned, but I made the vegetables on the stove. I cleared the kitchen table of batteries candles and oil lamps. It felt good to turn the water on and there it was! When the sun set, there was the joy of light.
Everyone was so happy in the community and the phone was ringing steadily. It was a happy time and we were all in good spirits. It felt like a holiday . At night when the darkness fell, I looked out just to see the lights shining from the neighbors windows and it was beautiful.
Christopher Robin brought his little friend for dinner again. I fed him and sat quietly while he ate. I did not stir, but spoke gently. It is a talkative kitten. He was almost persuaded by Christopher Robin to come in, but changed his mind after a peek.
Since school was out, I left early this morning for Elizabeth City. Jenny had been asking me to come for several days, but I just couldn’t leave the boys stranded without electricity. I am very limited in my abilities, but I am resourceful and it takes that when things change up. The drive north was beautiful though if I say, I have spent the last month “in a fog”, I wouldn’t be far off from the truth. When the fog lifted, the sky was as blue as it has ever been. Flat, thin clouds , way above the horizon made for a pretty sky to drive beneath.
The morning was so especially nice, that I took Lyla for a stroll within an hour of my arrival. Elizabeth City is full of rabbits as I have mentioned before. There are also a lot of magnolia trees. The woods and yards are full of them, I noticed, as we walked. There are also songbirds and friendly people. A lot of the streets have standing water from the beautiful Pasquotank river.
Jenny said there was limited food in the grocery store. I had not thought of that, being I stock pile at the rabbit patch. We managed a good meal anyway and afterwards, I called my parents and then the boys. I reminded Christian to put food out for the kitten.
The moon was almost full, when I went out later. It was the color of butter and the sky was black. What a peculiar week, I thought. On Friday, we all just knew we would have a rainy weekend.
All day the rabbit patch has looked like a scene from “Wuthering Heights”. It has been gray and breezy- and the rain has been constant. Now, the wind has picked up and is wuthering through out the territory. The rushing sound it makes, is quite nerve-racking and makes you expect a great crash to follow. We still have electricity and the old house is keeping us dry and safe. The old trees are like stalwart warriors taking the brunt of the fierce wind, to protect the old house. I love those old trees and consider them friends.
Tonight is the night we were warned about. The rabbit patch is not near a river, but several creeks lie in all directions. The road may flood on either side, I suppose. I mostly worry about the trees. I expect the oldest barn may lose some tin and the yard will be full of debris. The wind is expected to blow into Sunday-and the rain is supposed to fall the whole time.
I am thankful we have “current” as my Pop would say. The countryside is dark at night anyway and when all power is out it is truly pitch dark. It is an eerie atmosphere on such occasions.
The Farm Life community is a united one- and at first light, some of the men will be surveying the damage and a plan will be devised to address everyones’ needs. It has been that way since my first day here. Tractors and heavy equipment will clear the road first thing. Generators will keep freezers running and have been known to get passed around the neighborhood in shifts.
As thankful as I was for electricity, we have just lost ours. Candles have been lit and placed in front of mirrors to magnify their little flames. The farmhouse when so dimly lit and the wind billowing around it, seems even older tonight. No one ever forgets such nights. It is as if, the mind is on “high alert” and details are gathered and stored without any great effort. How differently life must have been lived before electricity.
The wind means business tonight. It blows wildly over the rabbit patch as if it were evening an old score. The pine trees are not whispering, as they do in June, but seem to roar, instead. The oak leaves rattle and the sycamores hiss.
Seeds will be scattered tonight like confetti. In the spring, I will know of their destiny -for I will find flowers and bushes growing that my hand did not plant. It is about the only good thing I know to say about a hurricane. . . but it is a beautiful truth.
The Next Morning. . . .
I woke early, anxious to survey the results of the storm. The wind was still blowing and the air it brought was about cold. It was still raining, but it wasn’t falling in sheets anymore. We still did not have power.
The trees were all still standing, and I was so thankful for that. Leaves were lying all over the ground-most of them green, denied of their chance to flash their autumn glory this year. A few sections of the picket fence needs repairing, but that is always the case, it seems.
I came back in and and slept a while longer without guilt as not having water stops most chores. I woke several hours later under the same conditions. I began reading Gladys Taber’s, Stillmeadow Road– a favorite of mine. I must have read it fourteen times. The rain stopped finally around chapter five and the sun did shine briefly-though the wind has not ceased yet.
The cell phone is low on battery and so for now must be reserved for emergencies. The rabbit patch does seem like its’ “own island” just now, but most everyone in this area is in the same situation.
In the absence of leaves, sunlight is falling where shade used to and it seems peculiar. Usually, this is a gradual occurrence, so for it to happen suddenly, seems odd and a bit disorienting.
After Morning. . .
I ate ice cream for lunch, as the power is still off, I felt I was doing a good deed as ice cream can not survive low temperature, and I try not to be wasteful by habit. I grabbed it quickly, so as not to let any cold air escape. The sunshine did not last and I have almost finished reading the book. The wind has lost some punch. I can write, but I can not publish, so I fear I may be writing a book-something I thought I could never do as my focus changes abruptly at times. I miss water. I had stored some up, but I see now, we will surely run out. “Water,water everywhere, but not a drop to drink!”
As the sun was setting. . .
It is early evening and still there is wind. I did make several piles of branches. I will invite Rae over for an autumn fire, when things are cleared up. Rae loves to build a fire. Cash ran with the wind while I was cleaning the yard and seemed to like that kind of play. A kind neighbor with a generator, charged my cell and computer. I made several calls already. Everyone is ok. I heard grim news. We are not expected to have power for at least several days . A neighbor, I call “princess Leyta” rode a bike and reported snapped electric poles in standing water and felled trees too. It is about impossible to travel very far in any direction and there is no gas anyway. I can not complain as we are all safe and damage here is minimal . Neighboring towns on rivers are flooded so I am ashamed now, that I felt sad that there wasn’t a single berry left on the french mulberry bushes. Before it is dark, I am filling the lamps with oil. The kitchen table holds all sorts of necessities from oil lamps to flashlights-and candles. I am already missing light now, as well as water.
Night, After the First Day. . .
It is just eight o’clock and so very dark. A silver half-moon and a handful of stars lend some light to the soaking wet yard . My neighbor, Susan brought me supper. Susan is thoughtful like that. They cooked on the grill. I plan to take her sausage and eggs tomorrow. I have never learned to cook on a grill. With four sons, I have never had to. I miss them all especially tonight. Jenny and Will are fine, but had some damage to their home. I miss them too. Hurricanes are so much more bearable with family around. It seems, I will finish reading my book by the insignificant light of an oil lamp tonight-but, I am glad for it.
The sun is out making up for lost time. Kyle made it home and what a difference that makes for me. The closest town to me is up and running, I hear, so that will make a difference to me too. Today, I will write letters to some people not seen in a while. The art of writing a good letter is surely about lost . It ought not to be because it is so much more personal than a text or an email- even a phone call. Only the heart can write a letter. I plan to organize the little barn I use for storage today- and I am going to start a new book.
About Noon. . .
I did get the barn in better shape. The weather is pleasant and I am glad for that. We are neither too cool nor too hot. The sky looks like the familiar brilliant blue found only in October. Miss Susie who gives me flowers, called to say they were bringing over a generator! The contents of the freezer will be saved and maybe I can have water for a while. I will sure make the best of that time! Susan sent breakfast with coffee! My heart is grateful all over again for the Farm Life community. oh!- Someone said they saw utility trucks early this morning.
Later in the afternoon. . .
I have bathed, washed dishes, charged electronics and made coffee, thanks to the generosity of Miss Susie and her family. I must go on rumors now, as I still do not have access to the official reports, but what I hear is that many are in a far worse state than I am in. Most everywhere is terribly flooded and helicopter rescues are taking place south of the rabbit patch
. Many people have lost everything they owned. I dare not complain, in light of this news.
The Second Night . . .
Kyle cooked supper on the grill , by the light of the sunset. We had sausage, eggs and some navy beans from the freezer, that just needed warming. We ate by an oil lamp and it was a good combination, after all. It feels so much better now, with the boys home. Christopher Robin brought a kitten with him for supper. I was not looking for another cat, but it is a tuxedo cat and my grandmama loved one just like it. Of course, this one is skiddish now, but I can see that the cats are fond of one another, so it seems I may have another cat at the rabbit patch.
The dawn is just beautiful today. The air is crisp so that I thought it would shatter when I opened the back door. It is very still at the rabbit patch, not a leaf trembles, though I did hear a cardinal whistle. The new morning ritual is to gather the lamps and candles, used the night before and put them back on the kitchen table. I will be glad when they go back in the pantry. I plan to clean a closet, finish reading my second book and look for the kitten, all before noon.
The morning was as productive as I had hoped-though I didn’t find the kitten. Several neighbors have been by, checking to see if all was well here. One of them, Mr Gerald is a retired linemen and he has been keeping up with the progress of the repairs. He encouraged me that ” it would’t be as long as it has been”. I have about gotten used to this state of being, though I miss water dreadfully, still. I told Christian, the next time I start complaining, I am going to cut the water off for several hours!
The rain fell most of the night on the rabbit patch. It was falling this morning, when I awakened. It has fallen all day and is doing so now, as well. Very few days have passed in this manner in the decade I have lived here. The rains’ song has been as gentle as the doves’ in the evenings -and with only a few, brief interludes .
I found out this morning, that schools were closed. The early hours were cool and dark. I heard the rain and listened to it for a long while. The entire rabbit patch seemed in a state of total serenity. I sat by the morning table and thought of writing. I considered starting to read a new book-and later making a cinnamon cake-but I did none of those things. I sat in silence, instead. I hardly moved. I was sure if I did, I would break the spell that seemed cast, by rain falling at dawn.
There was not any sign of rushing, this morning. The country road, I live on was void of traffic. Kyle went back to bed as soon as he found out that he had the day off. Cash and Christopher Robin slept close to one another, by the morning table. I was curious about the weather update, but not enough to turn the television on just yet and disturb the sense of peace, I was feeling.
While it was raining, I said a prayer.
The world offers a lot to respond to. It can make you weary. On this day , for a while, I did not want to hear politicians arguing or see pictures of starving animals. I did not have to imagine the heartbreaking results of crimes committed the night before. I do not take these things lightly, but am deeply saddened by them. Sometimes, I wonder if the children of today will grow so accustomed to hearing these things, that their hearts will fail to stir at tragedy. That would be a shame as the world needs compassion.
I don’t care how you go about it and I think Heaven cares less, but the world needs prayer. I often hear it said “all you can do is pray” as if prayer is a last resort and only when all else fails. Whether one lights a candle, holds a strand of beads , looks at a field or goes to an altar. . . it is a beautiful thing to pray.