I attended the early service, today, – the last Saturday in January. The morning was cold and still, but a mockingbird sang, anyway. For a little while, the woods at the back of the field, looked aflame. Then, the light changed from a bold amber to a soft yellow . . . and so the day was born, in this manner. I watched through the window, by the “morning table”, while my boxer, Cash and my cat, Christopher Robin, slept. It was Saturday, after all, and no one was rushing about-in all the world, as far as I could tell.
The coldest days of my life, happened in January. We had snow twice-and so we had snow cream. . . and Lyla built her first snowman. School was cancelled on a good many days. The Christmas tree was taken down along with the vases of fresh pine. . and the Christmas closet holds very few secrets now. . . and Jenny had a birthday. The remnants of January are upon us and it to seemed to me, that January, like the snow, was a brief affair.
I haven’t any lofty plans this week end. There is housekeeping and the territory, I call the rabbit patch, is showing signs of neglect. I am quite concerned for the “running periwinkle”as it looks badly burned from the sub zero temperatures, we had. I must encourage some of the rose bushes too. Besides that, there are small branches hither and yonder. I , also will hopefully cook a Sunday dinner and make a bread pudding stuffed with apples, for dessert.
The Afternoon, on Saturday
I did get the house mostly in order. Afterwards, I went out to a fair day -unseasonably warm, and set about to clean up the yard. I picked up sycamore branches and gathered enough to make a good sized pile. The sunlight was too faint to cast even the slightest shadow. It wasn’t long before, I reached the young woods, in the far corner of the territory. In the absence of rabbits and birds, the woods were silent. The air was so still, that the pine trees did not whisper. The muted gray and silver bark on the trees, the soft brown carpet of resting grasses and the russet pine straw were fitting hues for that moment. . .and so I lingered in the young woods, as if I was under some sort of spell and hadn’t a thing else to do.
I remembered not so long ago, the boys had forts in the woods and “property disputes” with one another. My little goats and chickens foraged there and the the woods were the place for the best Easter egg hunts. Then, we had evening fires that burned while marshmallows toasted on long sticks. Once, when my niece, Hayley was a child, we took an actual “midnight stroll” through the woods.
There is also a grave, of a beloved collie on the edge of the woods. It has a small foot stone .”Miss Sylvia” remembered the dog and the family that loved him. Hence, I have tended the grave of a dog that died, before I was born, for over a decade and named that place, “Collie Corner” . Now, irises, calla Lilies and a butterfly bush bloom with the wild honeysuckle, in “Collie Corner”.
Whenever, I visit with woods or fields, it has the effect of a tonic, on me. . .and today was no different. On the way back to the farmhouse, I stopped by the running periwinkle and found a few green sprouts, under the mulch. Maybe all is not lost, for the flowers started with cuttings, from my grandmother. This further renewed my spirit and by the time I came in the kitchen , I was humming.
To stand in the shadow of Greatness, does wonders for the soul and things growing wild lend a peace to the heart without worldly rival. Mankind can not take credit for such places nor claim any status. Nature does not show favoritism nor rank us according to appearance or ability. . .yet, I felt like an honored guest and privileged , while I stood in the midst of the woods in winter. . .where the robins nest . . .and “silence is golden”.