Today, the children will start arriving at the rabbit patch. It feels like Christmas Eve, but it looks like May. The sun is not yet over the barn, but already Christian and I have loaded a pick up truck with things like old lamps and broken chairs. He is on the way now, to dispose of them at a landfill, twenty minutes from here. I got at least two acres mowed after work, yesterday-so there is that to finish, and linens to wash.
The refrigerator is bumping full of things for the picnic on Monday-so is the top of the freezer. There are many tasks at hand, besides the mowing, but today, I feel propelled to accomplish them . . .because the children will be gathered around the same table, once again.
There are five of them. I have four sons, one daughter and one grandchild, Lyla. All of my adult life, I have been raising children. Brant, my oldest is thirty-five and Christian my youngest, is twenty-four (as of recently). It has taken me a long time to get used to the fact, that they all “grew and flew”. I mourned pitifully for a good while. The farmhouse got bigger, all of a sudden- and the clothes were always folded. I did not know how to cook or even shop at the grocery store, anymore, as there was less than an army to feed.. Friends said that a grandchild, would make a difference . . .and as it turns out, they were right. Lyla is just two . . .and she has made a wonderful difference.
I find it notable, that all of the work that is necessary, today, does not cause me to grumble. Instead, I find myself humming as I go about the chores. I know it is due to the arrival of my family-but I think I ought to adopt this practice under lesser circumstances, as well. Humming is certainly better for the spirit than grumbling. This inspires me to remember that I can perform the same chores , on any given day, in the state of mind, that I choose. Today is surely easier than most, to consider that.
I have always believed that the heart and the mind are so closely entwined- and that is why, we must often search, to distinguish their separate contributions in situations. “As a man thinks in his heart…” comes to mind and proves to be true. It is beneficial to have a happy heart . I always teach young children this concept. I say that when you are troubled about something, to try quickly to remember something you are glad about. A few years back, I had an awful knee injury. It was painful and took a long while to heal. As I was walking between buildings at school, the pain became about unbearable. I stopped, wondering how to proceed, when two little children seeing my despair, came running. I did not want to alarm them. Children have such compassionate hearts. I fought tears just to remain standing there. I just could not take a step. I explained to them, that I was waiting for the hurt to go away, when one of them piped up and said-“Quick! think of something you are glad about!” This was no small task at that particular moment. But, I said- “I am glad it is not raining.”- and I was.
Today does not require such lofty effort. I will hang the sheets on the line and be glad of sunshine. I will scrub floors and give the animals a bath. I will mow where roses abide . . and beside the fields of sage and I will probably sing an out-of -season rendition of “Joy to the World”, as I do so.