I attended the early service in Elizabeth City, on Saturday. I had a lot of company, for it to be such a cold winter morning. I was greeted by a flock of redbirds. They were a quiet lot, but how pretty they looked in the dull light of morning. There were also robins. A small flock of blackbirds, filled up a tree. The blackbirds acted as a choir and sang through out the gathering. A squirrel dashed through the yard screeching as he went. Only, the trees and I were silent, this morning.
It has been cold, for a southern winter, since Christmas, and the forecast is that it will remain so for another week. This kind of cold will make pipes freeze and you hope they do not burst. I brought Jenny some olive oil yesterday, and it was frozen, as it had been in a parcel packed, in an unheated room, at the rabbit patch. I have watched the news,all of twenty minutes, this last week, but I did see that a bitter cold was plaguing the mid west and the north, too. What fortitude, folks must have to endure such conditions.
Jenny had a mission today. She wanted all signs of Christmas, packed away. I kept Lyla occupied, while Jenny and Will worked diligently to restore order. I cleaned the nursery and packed away toys Lyla had outgrown, to make room for new. . .even so, Jenny will limit the amount of new toys that go in to the collection. Jenny is a sensible mom, and I am quite proud of that. She insists that Lyla spend an ample amount of time, outside and that the nursery is not cluttered with too many toys.
By late morning, the nursery, was strewn and just walking through was difficult- the truth was, you were likely to step on a block or teacup. Will picked Miss Claudia, (his mom) up and it was nice to be in good company, as I sorted through Lylas’ little kitchen and her drawing desk.
By mid afternoon, much had been accomplished. Lyla was quite disappointed that the Christmas tree had left “without a trace”, and actually cried. I fear she may be as sentimental as I am, for I miss Christmas, too.
I gave Lyla, “The Complete Peter Rabbit”, which contains all of Beatrix Potters’ works, including her lesser known, nursery rhymes. Of course, I read “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”, to Lyla, the first chance, I got. Lyla retold the story with great animation. She was quite saddened that Peter lost his shoes and jacket- and she did not “take a shine” to Mr. McGregor, at all.
New Years’ Eve
The last day of the year dawned cold and bright. I did not tarry long at the morning service, as there was a light, but chilling wind, blowing steadily- and without mercy. The same crowd attended, as yesterday, and in addition, a very blue jay. There seemed to be a restlessness amongst them and I wondered if they knew something, I didn’t. Nature is the truest indicator of weather, that I know of.
Jenny and Lyla were up, not long after me. With the house now restored to its’ former glory, today, held less obligations. The kitchen is still not completed and so, we settled for toast and coffee, as our “breakfast of champions”.
Today, most folks will take more than a “second look” at their life. Countless folks will vow to do all sorts of things. The older I get, the more my goals change in content. This year, I hope to give more generously, in whatever service presents itself. I hope to have pure intentions that stem from a clean heart. Oh, that I might be merciful, by habit- and grateful too. May I be honest enough to live my own truth, for our own truth is a gift, pure and simple, designed specifically for us, I think. I want fear to have less authority in my life. I am not referring to a fear of things like uncontrolled fire or dangerous speed . . in those cases fear protects us. Instead, I hope to be void of the fear that makes us cease to follow our intuition , limits our expectations and therefore, hinders our faith. I want to love more deeply and practice compassion, until it is second nature-and I also wish to live with the earth and not against it.
I will probably say these same things next year, and mean them as much as I do today -and as much as I did last year. It bears repeating-and often. A new year beckons and with it the chance to understand more and to do better.
Happy New Year from the Rabbit Patch! love, Michele