What a bright, clear day came to the rabbitpatch this morning. The young leaves on the old trees are a jade green-a color particular to the season. Now, shade falls where sunlight used to. A bed of watery blue irises brighten the entrance to the drive and roses bloom everywhere. . .but it is cold-and windy, again. So cold that a scant frost fell last night, in the corners of the countryside. It as been a fortnight, since I last wrote in the diary . . .and a few things have happened.
Mothers’ Day was a quiet affair. My sister Delores came with my niece, Dana. Connie is a nurse, and she had to work. After a nice meal, we gave Mama a new television. Thankfully, Tres is coming on Tuesday, to make the thing work. Jenny said Lyla wished a mother robin “Happy Mothers’ Day”. The robins are nesting in a bush by Lylas ‘back door.
Until then, I am still cutting vines-this time along the edge of the young woods. I will also cut branches that hang low enough to hinder mowing. Here and there, I smell the wild honeysuckle, as I work. The place is full of privet too, and their fragrances implore me to work happily. I am in good company, they remind me. I have never been lonely in any patch of woodland.
After a big breakfast on Wednesday, Tres and Christian started on a few chores that required muscles. I left for Elizabeth City!! I had completed a full three weeks of quarantine-again, and thus was cleared by Jenny to visit . There were hardly any cars on the highway. Oh, how different the drive looked, since my last trip. Now the yards were green and there were newly plowed fields. This was the longest I had ever gone, without seeing Brynn and Lyla . . .so of course, we had a sweet reunion.
One day, we went to pick strawberries. It was a perfect day to go berry picking. Lyla surprised me, and filled her little bucket! Brynn did not surprise me, for she ate strawberries during the whole ordeal, as I suspected she would. We came home and washed the berries. We gave a quart to Miss Thelma, which “tickled her pink”. Miss Thelma sits on her porch so folks can visit safely. She is ninety six and still looks so pretty sitting in the sunlight. She has long silvery hair and a dazzling smile. At the drop of a hat, she will recite poetry.
With the abundance of strawberries, I made strawberry biscuits for breakfast, one morning. I even made a glaze for them. The idea of strawberry biscuits, had to be a good one, I thought. I prepared the strawberries the night before and rose early to make the dough. While they baked, I made a glaze. The house was filled with an aroma, that made you want to get up . . but the biscuits turned out “just fair”. Well, we all agreed they were good enough to eat, but nobody ate two.
It was picnic weather, for a few days. Jenny, Lyla and Brynn, ate under the beloved willow tree, one day. I was visiting with Miss Thelma, who lives just across the street, and how pleasant it was to watch “the picnic”, we both agreed.
That same afternoon, Jenny put up a birdbath. The sparkling water beckoned to the bird community and soon a robin, then a mockingbird and later a chattering blackbird , all visited to drink and bathe. I felt quite privileged to witness birds splashing in water. It was a cheerful moment and their antics quite amused me. It seemed like a long time since , I have taken such a liberty. For in that moment, I wasn’t obligated to anything. Nothing had happened, nor was expected to, in that brief span of minutes.
I make great effort to lead a “quiet and peaceable” life. The constant ruckus, in this world, in the most ordinary of times – and long before this pandemic , demands that I seek serenity, just to maintain some sort of balance. Sometimes, it is just not enough to take notice, sometimes I must stop everything and abandon all, for things like watching birds take pleasure in water. Great thinkers have always declared this truth, but I found it was difficult to completely clear my mind of any thought, when I attempted to do so. Oddly, on this day, I seemed to fall in to this “place”. “A little bird told me . . .” seems to ring true, now.
Meanwhile, a storm came through and “made itself at home” and lingered for days. Wind blew and rain fell until at last it was cold . . again. Brynn and I took to the porch and watched it rain. The young willow swayed and its’ long tendrils bore the brunt force with ease and grace. (A willow tree never loses its’ poise.) The dullness of the day warranted the streetlights to light and the willow seemed lit up with twinkling lights. Brynn clapped her little hands and laughed in delight at the spectacle of light and wind on a willow tree.
We all woke to rain on Friday. The world outside the window was drenched and soggy. We were all pleasantly surprised when by mid morning, the sun was shining. Lyla donned her rain boots and we took off for at long last, a visit with the laughing river. We were so happy to see our long last friends, the little barking dogs on their balcony. We had not seen them in months and I worried something unpleasant had happened-but alas! there they were on this day, scolding us for walking by. How glad we were to know all was well with them, even if they are grouchy.
I left in the late afternoon. heading back to tend to the business of a rabbitpatch. Brant and Sydney are coming on Saturday night and so we will share a meal at Mamas’. I will get to hold little Ryan, for our family could care less if the “state opens up”-we are not taking any chances, so we continue to proceed with great caution, . . . and I suspect when little Ryan is tucked in my arms . . .it will all have been gladly worth my while.