“Between a Rock and a Hard Place”


I got up this morning at five, as is my habit.  The world was pitch dark and a brisk wind was blowing.  The pines were whispering and for a while, I listened.    Leaves are scattered about the territory now.  I always find it beautiful to look out and see the yard looking this way.  It is a sign of the season  – much as pumpkins and marigolds.  Sunlight falls now where shade used to, for the wind had stripped a fair share of leaves from the old oaks and sycamores.  A few of the roses continue to bloom.  They will be faithful til frost. Otherwise, the rabbit patch is quiet, as it always is, in Autumn.


By the time the light comes to the morning, I had a project in mine.  It was the perfect day to take the living room apart and clean.  Soon enough, the house will be closed up for cold weather.  Windows will stay down and soft blankets will be found on the sofas, within arms reach, for a chilly night.  In light of the windy day, I would wash the curtains, as well as the blankets.  . .and remove the cushions from the sofas and tackle the baseboards.  . . and the windows are so very dirty, I would clean those too. 

Before, I gathered the broom and a bucket, I put on a pot of soup to simmer.


I had not even started good, when I realised this would be a two day project, more than likely.  It would do me good to stay busy, I reassured myself, and besides that, it needed to be done, for I was soon convinced that a good deal of rabbit patch soil was in every place it could be. I was no longer thinking about papers and impending dates, for I was on a mission, now. 

While I was cleaning and scrubbing, my mind forgot, briefly, that I am in between two places. . . like “a rock and a hard place”.  On one hand, I am here at the rabbit patch with everything possible, packed in boxes.  On the other hand, is a little cottage freshly inspected and with a fee paid, to secure my contract.  I have settled into this “strange state of uncertainty”  with all the fortitude I can muster.  We are often reminded to “live in the moment”  Truthfully I have always practiced that theory, for I take great note of how the hours pass.  Far be it from me, to miss the beauty of a season.  I crave beauty as I do air-whether it is being with my loved ones or nature or the peace of   solitude . . .but there are some things that  do require a bit of contemplation, like whether or not to carry a raincoat, or when you should get new tires . . . or change your entire life altogether.

By the time, I was washing windows, the wind had become a slight breeze that blew in a friendly fashion.  The sky was a powdery blue and cloudless.  The spirea bushes are a lovely apricot color now, I noticed.  The young dogwood that bloomed for the first time, on the Easter Sunday, that Lyla was born, is crimson, now.  The pecan trees are bare, as are the peach and cherry trees.  As I surveyed the landscape, I wondered if the fierce wind that came in like it had a score to even, may have spoiled the grand finale of the autumn leaves this year.  Like everything else, we will have to wait and see.

Work, of any sort, acts like a tonic on me.  In the summers, the garden  would swallow any worries I had.  The soil acted like a mother, full of comfort.  In springs, there were flowers to plant and weeds to pull.  In the autumns, there are the bushels of leaves dropping daily and in winter, I had the barns, that could always stand cleaning. 

A decade ago, I remember feeling angry.  I went out behind the oldest barn to tell the heavens about it.  I could barely plead my case, because I kept noticing that the shelter off the back of the barn, was so untidy.  I started restoring order, as I grumbled.  A flock of blackbirds showed up and were chattering so much, I was sure heaven could’t hear my fuss over theirs’.  I just hushed altogether and got some paint, for some of the boards were looking so shabby.  As I painted, the blackbirds started a performance.  They filled the sky and started swooping and spiraling.  A thousand of them, at least moved in a motion as fluid as water.  It was a spectacular sight.  I watched them for a while-which could have been a year, as I was so in awe.  By the time it was over, I had painted a few blackbirds on the crude boards, and written, “The heavens declare the glory of God” on the leaning shelter.  It is still there to this day.   So, some sort of work always presents itself at the “rabbitpatch”.




I had finished the living room and even moved the piano and sofas back in place, when Christian came in from work.  I had used a rosemary scented cleaner to wash the walls and floors, and so on top of everything else, it smelled like a holiday in the farmhouse.  

Of course, while I washed the windows, I noticed the porch needed cleaning and so that got added on the list of “things to do tomorrow”.

I warmed the caulifower bisque for our supper, which was a wonderful conclusion to the day, we both agreed. 

A crescent moon hung high in the sky, when I went out to say my prayers. Stars were scarce but bright.  I had walked into a silence that was so very peaceful, I couldn’t complain about a thing. . .and so once again, the heavens were spared, my grievances, for all I could do, was smile back at the moon. 


28 thoughts on ““Between a Rock and a Hard Place”

  1. And smile we do as we carry on from day to day in wonder of lies ahead. I wish I had your entergy to do the cleaning you are so good at. It is a never endinf job around here that never gets done completly. But…tomorrow is another day.
    I so love reading about the rabbit patch,,,,love you dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michele, I dare not keep it to myself a moment longer. I refer to my thought that you should be writing a book. Your leanings are so peaceful and serene, so full of color and whimsy. I can’t help but think of you as an author of a lovely bound volume, maybe a little paperback for a guest room bedside table, a epistle downloaded on a Kindle, a quiet calming voice to shorten a journey on Audible.

    Beautiful and tender. Full of feeling and contemplation. Olfactory and delicious!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dearest Rabbit.
    I love everything you write, (you know I do). I hang off every word, drinking each one in as if it were being given to a thirsty traveller who’d been wandering the dessert night and day days, trying to find water. And here, on your blog, is where it was to be found in plentiful supply.

    Love you dearly Michelle, and continue to pray for you, and your family. ~ Cobs. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I just see that your name is Michele, so thank you Michele for this wonderful writing which really
    settled my evening. You write with such freedom and openness that I can feel and taste all around you.
    The gentle meandering around your place and absorption in work that come to hand.

    So dreamy in spite of you u also being a very practical woman. Wonderful.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. The waiting times of life always seem to be hard. Waiting to go ahead while reflecting on the past. I, also find myself cleaning when I am out of sorts and waiting. It always boosts my spirits. Maybe the satisfaction of getting something done?
    I will keep praying for you in the waiting time Michele!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Cleaning does that to me too Michele. No matter how grumbly I am that I’m vacuuming after my “boys” again, I eventually break out into loud singing as I go. I’m sure anyone who has ever approached our front door and heard me surely must consider me mad as a hatter. And how I love your painting inspiration on your lean to! And as always, your words do my soul good. Still wishing all the best for you Michele. xox

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Your post reminds me the importance of keeping busy, for we are between places too. Having purchased our retirement home in eastern Washington while my husband has several months to work in Western Washington before we can live on the homestead full time. So we rented a small (560 sq ft) apartment until he retires and I go batty if I don’t have something to do! So I’m working on a book of my poetry and I think you should consider a book of your Rabbit Patch! Good winter work until we are all finally settled and spring arrives😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Ma’am
    Everyone above has written what I wanted to say. Just writing to let you know, I read, I smiled, I teared a bit and contemplated. There is a lasting message in your post- smile at the moon and be right with the world. Sleep with a heart full of ease.
    God bless you, ma’am, abundantly.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love how you get to work when your heart is heavy…I think that physically doing something is soothing and calming, and reminds us of the things that we can control. As for those we can’t control, that ‘s where faith comes in. And I have total faith that this situation will all work out for the best. Take care, Michele!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Which came first: the writer, or the writer’s heart?
    The act of composing our personal journals causes us to examine the content of our lives, their impact and influence and relative values. To recall and relive the truly meaningful parts, both high and low, winnow them to their bare essentials, and draft them into ordered and concise prose.
    The act of living our lives as “writers” causes us to reflect constantly, day in and day out, on the river of life as we ride along its smooth, wandering courses, run its rapids, or plunge helplessly over its waterfalls. How will we perceive ourselves, our writers’ hearts, when we boil this down to our barest truths? How have we learned and grown from such self-knowing and reflection? How will it bear us up through our days ahead?
    Over time, the writer and “the writer’s heart” continue to blend, until this becomes second nature to us.
    To view our world as filled with colors and wonders bright and dark, and living moments that shall, for better or worse, be indelibly inscribed upon our souls.

    Keep your eye on the sparrow, rabbit.

    All my love,



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