Valentines’ Day at the Rabbit Patch
The windows are up at the rabbit patch and the birds are singing. Daffodils are beginning to sprout, but I am too old to be fooled, at least by this . . .It is February. For as long as I have paid attention to weather, a few days of spring like temperatures happen in February. A long time ago, I remember pushing my own babies in strollers, all day, when this event occurred . It is not so rare as folks think-and in the long run, it is still winter, after all. Last year this happened long enough for the daffodils to bloom and the peach tree blossomed as well, only to be dreadfully burned on a freezing night, shortly after. I think the peach tree is one of the loveliest trees of all. The blossoms are the palest pink and appear before the leaves. I think they are the “prettiest promises” proclaiming good tidings. I considered it tragic, that when the peach tree blossomed, last -it was a short lived affair.
I like “Valentines” Day”. In the past, I have strung strands of pink, red and white lights in various places outside. I did not go to such lengths this year, but I did buy chocolate and small trinkets. I have made heart shaped biscuits and always a special dessert, in years past, but this year, to continue my current mission, I made “Scottish shortbread ” cookies. They turned out perfectly, and I took great pride in them.
Jenny has a neighbor from Scotland, and she bakes them at Christmas. Jenny raved about them the first Christmas she was given some of them. In the spring, of that year, I met a lady walking her dog. We began chatting, and I noticed she had a delightful accent. She used delightful phrases like “the way the crow flies” , when describing the direction of her house, which was right by Jennys’ home. I said “I KNOW who you are!” She was surprised and next I said “You are the woman who makes the best cookies!” She laughed about that. The next day, she sent us some cookies and I then understood whole-heartedly, why Jenny had sung the praises of them. They were a pure and simple cookie with a rich flavor. My new, Scottish friend, not knowing my dreadful history of failure, in the art of cookie baking, encouraged me to try the recipe. On “Valentines’Day”, I mustered the courage to attempt the “Scottish short breads” . . and they were as delightful as a cookie has a right to be. Of course, I made them heart shaped.
When the holiday was over, I had quite a bounty of rocks, leaves, a feather, , little cards and chocolate, at school . . and cookies at home. The youngest children and I sang songs, like “Roses are Red, and Violets are Blue”. Such things are the sweet contents of “Valentines’ Day at the rabbit patch”.
A Few Days Later
The windows are still up on the farmhouse as February continues to masquerade as if it were late April. How convincing the day was! To top things off, Miss Susie has a daffodil and some hyacinths blooming. More rain and cooler temperatures are in the forecast, but today was a kind and gentle one. I do not rush nature, but I remembered today just how beautiful, spring felt. I had an errand this morning, and I intentionally took the sparsely wooded path to the next building, instead of the sidewalk. On the way back, I meandered through the woods. I do not pass through woods, without remembering being a young child, with ample freedom. I hear the voices of my loved ones that have now gone on, and I miss them all, all over again. It felt almost sinful to go back in a building , when such a day was in progress.
By the time, I drove home, the sky had darkened and the air was cooling off. I put the windows down. It is still winter, after all.