Today is far from ordinary, at the rabbit patch. On this day, three decades ago, I became a mother. My oldest son, Brant was born on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, while the mimosa trees were blooming.
I have never forgotten the details of that day. When I held him, a deep sense of love came over me- a kind of love that I had never known. For the first time in my life, I truly understood how my parents loved me. It was a bigger and more beautiful concept, than I could have imagined. I was very over-whelmed with gratitude and wondered how could such an enormous kind of love existed without my knowledge of it. That day changed me, and I am better because of it.
I remember the day, I brought Brant home. I don’t think any mother forgets that. I took him to the mimosa, that I had sat beneath, waiting for him. I wanted him to know right off, that he had come to a world, with such lovely things, as mimosas.
Of course, as he grew, I continued this process. I made sure, he didn’t grow up too civilized-and he didn’t. He spent a good part of childhood in the woods. Brant had a great respect for nature, and he still does. He knew a male pine from a female at five years old. One year it snowed, and Brant came in with a little sparrow in his hand! I still don’t know how that happened. Brant held him a while, by the woodstove, and then took him out and the little bird flew off. Nothing has changed since then. Animals take to Brant, as if he is a charmer of sorts- so do children.
Today, is also the first day of the summer break for me. Kyle and Christian are at work, and the oldest children are all in Wilmington. -so I am having a quiet celebration at the rabbit patch. There is plenty to do. I hope to finish cleaning the barn, but it is awfully hot, out. Clothes are hanging on the line, and I always like that affair. I listened to a purple martin”s “trills” as I hung out the laundry.
I plan to wash some antique glass dishes today. I love to wash glass. It is calming for me. I love the way they sparkle in the sunlight, while drying. It is not a job to hurry through, either, but instead demands slow , careful movement. I have found that I think slow and careful thoughts as I wash-well, you can’t hurry your thoughts, when washing glass, either. I remember who they belonged to, and all the fuss that went on, when an occasion called for glass dishes, long ago when I was just a child. I never helped in the clean-up after such events. I was nervous and was sure I would be the one that cracked the bowl, that belonged to my great-great aunt, or some other saint before her or God forbid, I break the last platter of its’ sort, left in the world.
I have painted a flower pot this morning. I plan to paint pots and buckets this summer. Of course, I must wait for rain, to spend a day painting. The rabbit patch territory can be selfish, like that. Weeds, grass and thorned vines are a relentless lot altogether, and have no mercy on the ones that tend the land. Of course, under such conditions, something happens between myself and the land. We become entwined and speak our own language. I know where and when, shade falls. I know how the soil varies from the edge of the woods to the far side of the “Quiet Garden”. I know where the morning star shines . . and I know where the wild violets bloom.
In the Evening of the First Day
It took longer than I expected to wash the glass and so I had ample time to entertain lofty notions. Cash and the cats napped in front of a window fan. The breeze coming through the windows stirred up the kitchen herbs and I breathed in the smell of basil and thyme, as I washed the pretty relics from the women before me. I decided then and there, that it was a good thing to grow herbs on a sunny windowsill, and wherever I live, I will do so.
I did work in the old barn, after all, in spite of the heat. I started a small fire in the garden where beans usually grow. I watched the fire til it was reduced to embers, so did Cash . .so did Christopher Robin. I thought of the simple moments that had made up my day. The complexities of the world seemed far away from the clothes line-and the old barn. A country woman keeps a diary of simple content, I thought,
I thought of Brant, as I walked in the old house with the clean dishes. His birth changed my life-His life changed the world. He is one of the most kind hearted people I know. He is known to give things to strangers, he buys shoes for children that need them and feeds any hungry animal that he comes across. He knows every older neighbor around him and helps them bring groceries in. I started writing, when Brant was born .
Dear sweet Rabbit Patch Diary, I became a mother on this day, long ago . . . and that has made all the difference. Happy birthday Brant.