November has come to the rabbit patch in a friendly fashion. Days are born slowly with fog and make the territory look enchanted, for a while. The sky has been shades of lavender and pink-and the sun a very bright tangerine color at dawn. By mid morning , the November sky is a soft blue and the air is mild. The woodlands are only hinting of autumn now , but daily, I see the leaves brightening. Fresh plowed fields are littered now with autumn leaves in colors like gold and ruby. Last night, Christian and I watched a silver moon rise over a field. I was thinking how beautiful it was to stand with my son, now a young man, by a field, in the twilight hour. We have done it a hundred times before, but this does not spoil the effect in the least. Sometimes, one of the older children will call and say “Mom, have you seen the moon ?” . . .and I know they remember.
It is a pleasant thing to wake up as you please. Christopher Robin, my cat, was having cream at seven. Cash, my boxer, had returned to his station . . beside me for more sleep. I was having coffee. Oh, everything is changing at the rabbit patch. The young woods have flashes of yellow and apricot. The earth is spangled with leaves in all sorts of autumn hues. I love the way it looks, but my Mama would not. Mama will not have a dozen leaves in her yard, on any given day. She is the same way over pine straw and the hateful pine cones, that prick your hands without mercy. It does not matter the season, Mama’s yard is tidy. . . to think it used to be a pasture.
I remember Daddy digging trees up from the woods, and bringing them to the yard to plant. He had selected dogwood, sycamore, long leaf pine and oak. I doubt the average person could do so now. It was probably second nature to daddy. The sycamores were planted for quick shade. The dogwoods were planted-because they were dogwoods. Now daddy has apple trees (some he grafted), pear, blueberries and a huge grapevine. Mama planted flowers. The whole yard is full of azaleas, peonies and tulips. Mama has spider lilies, from her mother and a hydrangea too. In the spring, folks slow down on that country road, when they are going by the house.
Flowers that are passed between loving hands are somehow different from the ones bought at a garden center. Most every southern home has something “from a mamas’ yard” or a great aunt or grandmother. Of course, at the rabbit patch, I have “Miss Susie” flowers-which are really tanseys-and “Miss Sylvia” irises that are a watery shade of blue-besides the family heirlooms. . . The three generation spider lilies, Grandmamas’ “running periwinkle” and a cape jasmine my parents rooted. I have to mention the purple loosestrife from Mama, again. She gave them to me from her own yard because they bloom too late in the season, to suit her. Already, I am plotting how to transfer these flowers to the next rabbit patch, with a smaller house and yard. . .on some day.
By mid morning today, the light was still dim. If the wind subsides the least bit , I may burn the garden- then again, Kyle would be disappointed to miss the annual fire. Besides, Christian smells rain. So instead, I will tend to the housekeeping and browse through the “Christmas Closet”.
I have always fared better to shop through out the year. In this way, I remain sensible about the budget and most importantly, preserve the beautiful Spirit of Christmas. A gift of a fine soap suits me and the boys ask for socks without fail. Brant likes books and Christian will want guitar strings, paint and sketch pads. Such things satisfy us-they always have- Hence, today, I will take an inventory of the “secrets” in the Christmas closet.
I put the windows up as I went about my chores. Christopher Robin slept through the whole process. The Farm Life community was quiet. Combines and tractors sat idle under shelters. Dogs here do not bark without reason. They are too well cared for, for such nonsense. Not one dog had any reason today, to bark. The only sound to hear was the light breeze stirring through the trees , which helped my floors dry quickly. In no time, the fragrances of rosemary and peppermint soaps spurred me on to complete more tasks until it was late in the afternoon.
I do not mind the time change, as most do. What I wish, is that we would stop altering those dreadful clocks altogether. The sun itself is the only authority on time, after all. It is much more pleasant to measure time by lengthening shadows. Morning comes when the sun rises, and the clock has no say in the matter. I also do not believe that a day in July should last til nine pm. It all seems quite an unnatural affair to me. It is the same with seasons -they come and go as they please, no matter how we call them.
Still, I will abide by the rules and if I can find a clock that works at the rabbit patch, I will restore it to the correct time.
Dear Rabbit Patch Diary, I am glad for parents that provided a loving and beautiful home. . .for a daddy that walked in the woods so he could plant trees . .and a mother that planted flowers. I am glad for the sun that does not tell the time with “bells and whistles” but gently chides us through the days with changing light-and I am glad that sometimes my children ask me “Have you seen the moon?”