The rabbitpatch is especially beautiful, when bathed in early morning light. A new day – another chance – is given, like a gift, wrapped in sunlight and birdsong, at each dawn. I think, I heard a purple Martin this morning-or else a very skilled mockingbird. The Martins come to this part of this world in March, with their exotic trills. Martins hatch their young here, but then leave for South America, which is where they learn their fancy songs. Daddy loves the purple Martin, and has houses for them.
Already, we are in the twilight of March and true to the old saying. March does seem to be ” leaving like a lamb”. Fair days are more frequent now and even the wind does not howl as it did, but, instead, blows in a friendly way. . .and now the cherry tree at the rabbitpatch is adorned with a few blossoms. This cherry tree is fruit producing and not the ornamental variety, that I declare, is the “Loveliest of Trees” as does Housman, in his poem. Still, I have never met a tree, that I didn’t like and the rabbitpatch cherry is no exception to that – and it is beautiful too.
Today is the kind of day to hang linens and sheets on the line. I have always loved the sight of a line of curtains or sheets, flapping joyfully, in a breeze. My friend Julie, used to visit frequently, for a few days, and I always made sure that she had line-dried sheets, for she loves them, as I do. When my hours were different, at school, I would hang my own sheets on the line before work . . .and pray it did not rain, in my absence. It was always worth the chance. Besides, the delightful affair of sleeping on sheets dried in sun and country air, the practice is ” green” and sensible. I am already looking in to some sort of line for a small yard, to use at the next rabbitpatch. Mama and Grandmama had to hang clothes out, for they neither had a dryer, when I was young. Hence, clothes were washed on sunny days, year round. I remember my sister, had to hand clothespins, for she was youngest. I had to sort through the tangle in the basket, and hand each piece of laundry. Then, the thing seemed like a chore, but now I remember the conversations shared, which did not always include, just the next task details. We talked about God, what to name the new colt and what we wanted for Christmas . . . and later boys. Every subject came up naturally and changed over the years, just as naturally.
Not a single March, passes that I do not remember flying kites, made by Daddy. Daddys’ kites were not beautiful, though one year, we did convince him to use “the Funny Paper” for some flash of color. (Gosh, I have not thought of the “Funny Paper” in a long time! For younger readers, this was a Sunday paper of comic strips. It came with the newspaper. ) Daddys’ kites were very impressive as they climbed the sky, without fail. Sometimes, they became impossible to detect. I did not realise it then, but what gumption it must have taken to work a long, hard day, come home and fly a kite!
While the sheets danced in the breeze, I took a moment to visit with the cherry tree. Oh the blossoms smelled delightfully sweet and I hoped they would scent the sheets! The wind blew in the right direction, to do so. Sometimes in June, when the wild honeysuckle blooms, the sweet scent will cling to the sheets and so will the Mimosa scent, in July.
The jasmine in the young woods is blooming now. The bright yellow flowers hang like garlands on the trees, transforming the landscape into a scene of celebration. I thought of Lyla, for she loves the smell of jasmine. While the jasmine dangles, like strands of sunshine, the meek violets carpet the rabbitpatch in every nook they can find. Somehow they deck the footpath, to the garden, as if it were their intention. I am always careful not to step on them.
When the sheets were dry and inside the farmhouse, I set the garden on fire. It was full of branches and leaves, collected all winter. I only got about half of the plot burned, but it was a start. When the boys were young, burning the garden was a big event. We all sat outside and took turns tending the fire. I felt lonely for those times, today. A fire is best enjoyed in the company of loved ones.
The boxer loved the fire and did his part to cheer me. He raced around the yard like something awful was on his heels. How glad I was to have this loyal and handsome dog.
The sun was slipping behind the woods and the embers had lost their glow, when I decided to take a stroll by the field, behind the oldest barn. The field isn’t yet plowed. A watery, green ground cover blankets the vast territory. How do I forget this wonderful spring event, for it happens every year? The field becomes a sea, each spring for a few short weeks, just as the jasmine blooms and the cherry blossoms. Dear Diary, The twilight of March, is a wonderful, wondrous time.