Autumn Is a Time to Remember

 

I woke this morning, to a light rain falling.  Since I did not have to go in to work, I laid very still and listened to the gentle splash of the raindrops on the windows and roof.   How tenderly the rain fell. It would have lulled me right back to sleep, but a rainy morning entices me to wake and not a miss moment.  It is my favorite time to write, after all.  
It never rains, that I do not remember,  the voices  of my elders, saying “I love you like rain.”  Tears well up as I write this now, fifty years later, remembering my maternal grandmother, for she said it the most.   Of course we were a farming family, and so rain meant a lot to us.  I say this to my children and grandchildren, for it is one more way to “tell the story”. 
Thankfully, this week did not pass with the fanfare of the week, before it.  There were not quite so many unusual details .  There is always a project to be done on the rabbitpatch, but the fervor of  a prospective buyer coming always evokes a sense of rush- and those that know me best,  can testify, that I elude rush with practiced skill.  The young man called me a few days after his visit, to say how much he loved the rabbitpatch, but could not buy it.  Now, things work out as they ought to and so, I do not need consolation.  What I needed, I received and that is always  of great profit.   
If gains are only measured  financially, then it is no wonder to me that folks feel “robbed” or that they “lost out” on something, often.  We conjure up outcomes, according to our desires never considering our solutions might not be brilliant or even right.  I have learned this the hard way, as I have most lessons, but the liberty that results, is well worth the “hard knocks”. 
 
“Officially” it is now Autumn, that beloved time of mine.  Oh, how I love the brightest days of the year -and the silvery, grey ones too.  The air is filled with chill and fog and dancing leaves and tendrils of smoke  rising from small burn piles, tended by folks wearing light jackets.  . .just like my “Pop” used  to. 
I am a sentimental  sort, by nature, and for some reason autumn time never fails to awaken memories dimmed in other seasons.  I  have said before, that September is a time to remember -at least for me.  The farm was such a happy time in early autumn.  The long, hot , toiling summer days were behind us and the harvest days were  like a  long celebration.   The elders were cheerful and laughed a lot.  Grandmama made an apple pie every day, for there were several apple trees along the edge of the garden.  It was  the next best thing to Christmas.   
After those years, my memories are of football games and realising that ” boys were cute”.  I collected rain water to wash my hair in and polished my oxfords, promptly at the first sign of a scuff. I preferred a different radio station and sang the songs aloud as I walked the woods and fields – and dreamed like a “big shot”, for that is the fashion of dreams in youth.  Thankfully, those shallow dreams vanished in to  the thin  woodland air, along with my youth, for a more beautiful life, than I could have ever imagined, unfolded.  Years later, I was a mother and every autumn, after frost, we were in the woods.  We walked and read books and picnicked regularly.  
It seems, that I take a long stroll down “memory lane”, every autumn and  this year is no exception.    . . .   but this year, more than any one , . . . I am remembering Daddy. 
The shock of losing Daddy, has almost worn off.  Now, the sorrow has settled in,  at times, thicker than the blinding fog at dawn.  I was looking at Christmas ornaments recently,  and could not imagine, a Christmas without Daddy.  I painted a table, one day, that Daddy had given me-my dear “Morning Table”.  I could not wait to be done with it and the  glory of the crisp white paint, was lost on me.  I argued again, with a door knob, that Daddy had tried to fix and couldn’t-which had shocked me, then.  Now, I know that was one of first warnings, I was given, but I missed it altogether.   Everything seems to prod me to remember Daddy . . even supper, some times.   
I am not crippled by the sadness  and do not even see it as  something peculiar.  Grief can masquerade in many ways and show up at odd times.  It is a natural consequence when we lose  someone we loved-and someone that loved us.  It is an undeniably powerful  force and we just never get to be an expert at grief.    I do not give an account of this, to initiate sympathy,  for we  have  all grieved over some sort of loss.    Like the rain, “it falls on the just and the unjust”   –  instead, maybe there is some sort of consolation, in knowing that it really is ok, to mourn while you paint a table or if  “out of the blue”  tears fall on Christmas ornaments. 
Grief is a complicated affair.    . .and not all days are created equally.  Some days are bright and hopeful and others are not. . . .but really all offer some beauty, if we but examine the contents of them.  I am convinced that I will not have to look far or hard or long to confirm this. 
 
The maples will soon be scarlet and the sweetgum will don every autumn color,  all at once, earning bragging rights, in the countryside.  Now, the fields lie golden  and beckon us to gaze upon them. They shine fairly now, in the light of early autumn. The bright plumes of the ragweed cover the ditch banks and floss flowers and wild mulberry  bloom-and that sweet morning glory . . . .Daddy never  did like morning glory, for they tangled up  on the plows of his tractor.   . . but I thought, they made the tractor beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 thoughts on “Autumn Is a Time to Remember

  1. Field morning glories….oh goodness yes they can stop up a plow and make a combine grind to a hault. They also ‘cut’ the price at the gin if there are too many in the load. But there isn’t any thing much prettier than those blue morning glories shinning in the morning sun.
    Memories are what holds us together these days. Even not so pleasant ones are pushed to the back when we pull out the good ones and you had a bucket full of good memories.
    I don’t know what to say about the Rabbit Patch losing a sale. It’s beginning to seem there is a reason you are where you are and there are just some things we can’t make sense of. Hang in there. It an’t over til it’s over and I don’t think the ‘fat lady’ is singing .

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  2. I understand more now the old-fashioned “period of mourning”, of which it seems our modern, speed-of-light world has lost track of. When we are left by someone who has been part of our world since the day we were born, there is a rift, a seachange in our perspectives. It takes time to move through this, for our minds and hearts to sort out this new reality. It takes time to heal the broken heart.
    Time is our friend, and before long the river calms and straightens again, and we can see how a person is a part of our lives whether living or not. They have shaped us, and shared the best and worst of times. They have taught us, they have cradled us, and rocked us until our tears subsided. These things are like the foundation of a building.
    Long after the mason has moved on to another job or another world, the stones he laid remain steadfast and strong, and support us always.
    Remembering moves from the sense of loss to the sense of richness in life that has been bestowed on us during their tenure with us here on Earth. We begin less to miss the things that seem gone, and realize more every day how much these lost loved ones remain a vivid part of our lives, even in their absence.

    All my best,

    Scott

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    1. I agree- about mourning. Goodness we were told, that we did not get an approved day off if a parent died!! I laughed aloud at that-how wrong. Daddy died on Easter Monday, The summer is a blur to me . Going to a funeral is hard for employees everywhere! Quite unnatural conditions. You are right that in time, the hurt subsides enough for us to realise, they are with us . Peace to you my dear one on this journey.

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  3. Michele,
    This wet my eyes for more than one reason. I have been working on high gear these weeks and much has accumulated, unprocessed, in my heart.

    But your words are like a gentle hand on my shoulder, telling me to slow down, to savour the days more – even if they are lined with the myrrh of tiny losses and deaths.

    This autumn brings changes to our lives here. I have accepted what is to come. But of course, we must grieve the ending of one season before we can learn to love the next.

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  4. Michele, you fill my heart and you wring it dry. I feel the grief between the words you write but I also feel the deep deep joy that carries you through…..like the strong undercurrent in a river. Thank you for sharing so honestly. Praying for you my friend.

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  5. Dearest Rabbit,
    You are such an example to me. You continue to move forward when a set-back could, in fact, set you back. You learn of a ‘let down’, but don’t let it get you down. You have beautiful memories but don’t allow those memories to keep you rooted in the past.

    You teach me – all of us – to simply continue to move forward. Learn from what might have been, or might have happened, but don’t dwell on it, for to do so will keep you rooted to that spot or that moment.

    I was saddened to read that your viewer phoned to say that he wouldn’t be able to purchase the Rabbit Patch, but so very thankful and happy that he DID phone, and that he thanked you for showing him around your beautiful home.

    As for the current situation of the house not being sold – my brain and heart quietly and lovingly remind me that it’s by perseverance, the snail reached the Ark.

    Sending you much love ~ from me in my corner, to you in yours. ~ Cobs. xxx ❤

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  6. Did you write this for me ? We both lost a parent within a few months of each other, who also knew each other. Your words just do my soul good. This has been a season of loosing close friends so I spend lots of time working in the yard…..trying to reduce my stress. Now our daughter is with us trying to recover from injuries from a auto accident in March…..both physical and emotional. I’m hoping seeing things that came from her Granny will lift her spirits like seeing all the pumpkins lift mine. My favorite time of year. Hope I can reap the harvest of less sadness this season. Your words hit me just perfect. Hugs and blessings!

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  7. Grief comes in stages, but never totally goes away. The first holidays after loss are the hardest. After 18 years I still shed tears for my mother. God bless you Michele and I pray for you and your family and hope some day grief will become easier for you to bare. Perhaps the day will come when the perfect person will come along and buy the Rabbit Patch. xoxoxoxo

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  8. I agree, if that young man didn’t want to buy the rabbit patch, then he wasn’t the right buyer. And you are so right about grief, there is no right or wrong way to experience it. Everyone has their own way of grieving, and whatever that is, it’s perfectly okay. The more we loved someone, the harder it is when we lose them. Your struggles are simply a reflection of how very deeply you loved your father. I know it will get easier with time, but until them, be as gentle with yourself as you possibly can.

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  9. I am so sorry for your loss of your Dad, Michele. Grief hurts. Missing someone really hurts. Your words written so gently remind us that grieving is a part of life and to embrace it. I’ve had so many losses over these past months that while reading your words my heart just sighed again and again. Bless you for how you see life. Bless you for your loving nature. Thank you for this post. Thank you. xo

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