I was up long before dawn, this day. I was at the early service in the back yard of the rabbit patch, standing under a sycamore, not bearing a single leaf, when morning broke. After a few dimly lit days, the bright light of dawn was a welcomed sight. It is still cold, but I have quite a fondness for a friendly, cold morning-the kind that does not burst pies , but simply demands a good, heavy coat.
I like the winter landscape. There is something so pure about it. I like trees under any conditions. At the rabbit patch, there are always branches scattered about, on any given day. They drop leaves without mercy- and the sycamores shed their bark and litter shards of it, on the territory. The oaks drop acorns, yet I love them all in spite of everything. The rabbit patch is a sanctuary for songbirds, because of the trees. In the summer, the shade of an old tree, has made a difference for me on many occasions, in months like July. Now, they all stand bare and look so very noble. At night, when the sky is laden with stars that shine through the bare branches, they look like Christmas trees, using only a little imagination.
At long last, the kitchen table is again a place to eat. Laundry has been put away-so has “Christmas” . The Avon glass is back on the shelves and so are the “white books”. Even the piano, has been put back against the wall, and the “Home Sweet Home” picture hangs above it, again. All of this happened before ten am.
The only sign of Christmas at the rabbit patch is a poinsettia atop the refrigerator and a full “Christmas closet.” I did manage to tie a red ribbon on the simple wreath on the backdoor-and put a new candle in the “welcome home” lantern that hangs outside the back door. For many years, the Christmas tree is always trimmed on December seventh, Kyles’ birthday. It feels odd not to have done so this year. Hopefully, the painting in the living room will be finished this week, then we too, can declare our “Christmas Spirit” is alive and well.
This is the first year that Lyla has at least some inkling about Christmas. She is just two and a half, after all. She had her Christmas with her paternal grandmother, Miss Claudia, this weekend. Will comes from a close-knit family, and so there was a big family gathering at Miss Claudias’ home with lots of happy relatives and good food. I take great comfort that Lyla lives close to her big and happy family.
Jenny put her tree up, about a week ago. When the lights were lit, Lyla exclaimed “I love Christmas!” over and over. When Lyla was taken to the Christmas parade, in Elizabeth City, she said ” Well, I love parades!” Jenny, decided today, to make a gingerbread house with Lyla. She bought a small kit, and all was going well, til Lyla ate part of the roof-I guess Lyla loves gingerbread houses too.
I can hardly wait to see Lyla. I have been missing everybody lately. The last few weekends have been spent working on the farmhouse-and I have a bit over a week of school left, as well. There are still more than a few tasks to be completed, here at the rabbit patch, so I must bide my time and remember all there is to do while I wait.
It seems to me, while children wait for Santa, mothers wait for children.