Mostly, everything in my life has changed. Of course, the pandemic changed every ones’ life. The way we do things, at least. Daddy left us a week ago. I just can not get the way of time, for some times it feels like just yesterday and some times it feels like a year. I am never quite sure what day it is. How long has it been since I walked by the “laughing river”? Is it still spring? I think about all of this in the first moments, after I wake. I am always shocked, for while I was living a beautiful ordinary life . . . the way of it, changed in a twinkling.
Grief is a force to be reckoned with. It is complicated, understandable -weighs on you deeply and abandons you randomly, well there is just no “rhyme or reason” to the ways of grief. It is bewildering, for as I hang clothes on the line and admiring the beauty around me, I am as likely to cry as to drop a clothes pin! No one ever gets to be an expert on grief. , , and “practice does not make perfect,” where it is concerned, . . .for grief is no stranger to me. Sometimes, when I am missing Daddy, I will think of my husband, my grandmothers, Aunt Josie and Aunt Agnes, Uncle Randy and my dog, Gage! The thing washes over me til, I can not sort it all out.
Yesterday, my sisters and I met at Mamas’ to write thank you notes – and poor Connie worked more on “business”. Mama is doing as well as anyone could be expected. I told Connie, that I sure hoped we gathered “just for lunch soon”, not because of the tasks, but just to share something besides sorrow, even if briefly.
Now, when I quit thinking about myself, I realise that much the world is grieving, the same as me. Woe is widespread and beyond my “wildest imagination”. There is fear and now, anger. What a concoction of emotions have been stirred up. Now, my heart breaks, for the many whose livelihood has been threatened and for the ones whose jobs demands that they just “carry on” despite the circumstances. People like cashiers, truck drivers, medical staff and many, many others. They are all warriors, in a sense. I confess, that I have not studied much of any thing in the last few weeks, but I have seen where folks are protesting these current mandates. I will not cheer them on, though they have the right to do so.
In my small world, I know that some folks do not practice social distancing, for they do not see the need or they are rebelling, for the sake of it. The worse thing, is that I see a lack of respect for the ones (like me) that are practicing “at full hilt”. I do not pretend, to understand this virus. . .but as I told my cousin, Sheila . .”if someone tells me, there may be a bear in the woods -and I hear growling . . .I am not going in the woods.” and I do not need to be told to stay out. Besides, what if our lack of compliance, made someone else sick? Shouldn’t we consider that? This is not the time to “throw caution to the wind.”
Some time, in the midst of everything, I had a birthday. I kept forgetting it, and every time someone mentioned it, some task would present itself and distract me, from any further thought of it. One night, we sat around making a list of things to include on my next grocery order. Mama needed tin foil and we had borrowed something from a neighbor, that needed to be replaced. I am loving “picking up groceries” I announced, and joked that I had tried to order geraniums, but the store did not honor my request.
Much to my surprise, Delores brought me a half dozen pink geraniums, when we met at Mamas’ to write those “thank you” notes. What a lovely surprise . . .what a sweet moment. Today, I planted them and the rabbtpatch looked happy .
The geraniums seemed to inspire me and so one thing led to another. I worked in the “Quiet Garden” for a while and then picked up branches that have come unfastened in the April wind. At long last, we burned the garden. Burning the garden, is a big event at the rabbitpatch. Besides all that has transpired recently, April has been windy and so we burned “late” this year.
Though there is much more to be done, progress was made and in the end, the rabbitpatch looked less shabby, than it has in months. When the first stars were out, I took a walk around the territory.
I thought the beauty of the place, no matter how neglected, was still as charming as any place, I have ever seen. I also knew all over again, that the sprawling lawn, was just too much for an old lady. . .especially one with grand children. The old farm house had outgrown me, a few years back too.
Not so very long ago, it seemed the place was as good as sold. I was shocked when the deal fell apart, just days before finalization. I was beyond mere disappointment. I never got angry, for I had prayed for many seasons and I knew better than to argue with God, for I have never won a battle with Him. Now, as I walked under the silver, shining heavens, in the beloved silence of the countryside, I was grateful for this past year at the rabbitpatch. I was not stranded, after all, but placed lovingly in the right place at the right time. I felt very protected -really from my own self. My plan would have deprived me of the “holy” season that loomed ahead.
Now, I still plan to “sell the farm”. . .but I will bear in mind, that human “plans” are often shallow and pale in comparison, to what God knows we need. In my case, maybe I was hasty . . .certainly, I was void of understanding. I realised, my own dream was not harmless, as I had thought. . . and had I dared try to rush God? AGAIN? Oh, what lessons I was learning under the stars!
Really, life is mysterious and full of complexity. There are few dependable things. By now, you would think the whole world would know this . I know very little, but I do know that somehow, pain and beauty can exist in the same moments. “Change” is usually another opportunity -and I ought not to dread it, as I am in the habit of doing. God always answers prayers -He just doesn’t always say “yes”. . .and “leaning on you own understanding” is an awful practice.