Once again, it is Friday. Friday is never a dull day when I am working. It is easier to get up in the morning, no matter the conditions . . .for it is Friday! Coming home feels especially liberating and hopefulness abounds in the prospect of some time that belongs to you. Whether you plan to do housework, or read or go hiking, there is a beautiful element to “owning your life”. It is a truer form of wealth to me, than money ever dared to be.
Holding my laughing Brynn, or telling Lyla a story, walking amongst the old trees with the boxer, playing music with Christian-all of these things are priceless to me. I do not mind living frugally to afford these hours. I practiced the same habits, when my children were young, hence my pockets are filled with yesterdays’ gold, and so are theirs. I have more regrets, than I wish, but “taking to the woods in October, for a picnic” on a Tuesday, is not one of them.
This does not mean that I am not an advocate for work, but the saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” does seem to ring dreadfully true. Finding your own balance is a quest to pursue with great fervor, for it makes all the difference in our life . . .and what skill, it requires, for the scales tilt, first one way and then another, as we go along, depending on our circumstances. What once worked, no longer does and off we go again, adjusting and adapting, according to our current needs. Balance is truly a lifelong endeavor, but the reward is also, lifelong.
This weekend is no ordinary weekend at the rabbit patch. Tomorrow is Christians’ birthday. Birthday ceremonies are not only for the day, at the rabbitpatch. We start before the eve of the special day and finish up, several days later. Only Christians’ favorite foods will be on the menu and he will be on “light duty” too.
Christian is my fourth and last son-and the youngest of five. He is not without fault, but they are few and far between. Worldly things hold little attraction for Christian-they never have. He is bored with trends and has never followed shallow dreams. He is compassionate, gentle, humble and an artist, to the core. He is one of the most spiritual people I know and has served as a beacon to me, on countless occasions. If it sounds like I am a doting mother, it is because I am. I do not bear a bit of shame in it, either. Far be it from me to make light of such a beautiful gift.
It is also Miss Thelmas’ birthday. Miss Thelma lives across the street from Jenny. Tomorrow will be Miss Thelmas’ ninety fifth birthday! She has been so excited. She explained to me, that she did not have a big wedding. She married just after World War II and the world was still recovering. She had a son , who passed a few years ago. Her husband is bed ridden, but has a clear mind, at 96! She told me today, that seeing her name in the Church Bulletin was just thrilling!
I met Miss Thelma several years ago, when Jenny and Will moved in to Riverside, the old village by the “laughing river”. A few weeks later, Miss Thelma came over with a card and candy, to welcome them. She was a striking lady with long silvery hair. Her smile was just beautiful. We struck up a conversation and became fast friends. She has done a good bit of traveling, and was head of the NC teachers for almost a decade. To her credit, she STILL has students, that come to visit her, thirty years after retirement!
Tomorrow, is a “red letter” day, in these parts!
I did not scurry a bit today. I did make a caramel cake for Christian. I have talked about it enough, that he wanted one too. I did laundry and other housekeeping tasks. I like to leave my house clean and orderly on Monday mornings, and it will be here sooner rather than later.
Though it rained again, last night, it did not rain today. I took a stroll around the rabbit patch in the still grey day. The boxer was with me as we explored the aftermath of winter. It really wasn’t as bad as I thought. There were branches, but all were small and manageable. The wind had brought in debris, which was found lodged in the old fence. The peach trees behind the barn were blooming, and so were the daffodils, making bright patches of bright yellow here and there. The forecast declares a stretch of dry, sunny weather, ahead . . . and so maybe, all hope is not lost for an abundant and colorful spring, after all.
Christian and I were up early on Sunday. He opened his presents, while a light rain fell. I was to play for Miss Thelmas’ birthday reception, so I hadn’t a moment to waste. It didn’t help a bit, that we had to change the time, as well. I received notice from two loved ones of bad news. just moments before I needed to leave. . .and so I left the rabbitpatch with a heavy heart.
It was a mild day and a friendly breeze was blowing. I drove to Elizabeth City, in rain and shine, for it would rain for a few miles, and then sunshine dappled the highway, the next few. I had to really concentrate on my driving, for I do not take sorrow lightly.
I barely made the service on time, which was very unsettling. The house Miss Claudia lived in, was just a street over, and how hollow I felt, all over again. What an awful time to be so full of sorrow – and late! I walked in to a church full of friendly folks. The pastor could not hide the relief, at seeing me. Neither could Miss Thelma, who was lovely as ever and fairly glowing. Somehow I manged the first song with a heart, not yet stilled. Listening to the sermon, improved my spirits, for the message was about the dependability of Christ. The second song came easier than the first, thankfully.
The ride back to the rabbitpatch, was much like the one, away from it. This time I noticed the blooming, stark white pear trees and the wildflowers growing everywhere. Sunbeams fell tenderly over the fields. How, I wondered, could a day hold so much beauty, be also filled with tragedy?
I had not been home long, when a dear friend, for over a decade, dropped by. Gayle and I were neighbors for a good while. She was steadfast and dependable, when my husband was sick. She dependably cared for my youngest sons and fed us all. When storms blew in, we got in the habit of cooking a joint supper. Today, she brought me a sweet picture of a rabbit. Her visit did me good, for we sat around the kitchen table, chatting, as if we still saw each other daily.
Afterwards, the boxer and I walked around the territory. I gathered more branches and collected a small bag of trash . . .again. All sorts of birds were flying about and singing cheerfully. I found a patch of wild violets. . . . and Dear Rabbitpatch Diary, I love violets.
What a mixed batch, the weekend was. Celebrations and calamities all at once, grey skies and sunlight. Oh how glad I am for old friends and violets.