I did not have to work today, for now schools here, have an ever so often, “remote day”. I had dismantled every alarm and since rain was in the forecast, I had planned to sleep til at least dawn. I woke as usual, long before sunrise. I was wide awake right off and sprang out of bed like a rocket. The world was dark and there was a constant breeze rattling the drying leaves on the old trees. Not yet, has autumn bloomed here. The woodlands have only faded to a dull green, thus far. The days are as warm as April and only require a light sweater, in the early hours, The windows are still up at the rabbitpatch.
The time I spent with Ryan, pn my last visit, was hallowed to me. He is as delightful as ever and rarely cries. We took a few strolls and I showed him the sky, til he would point it out to me. A few of the maples were adorned in scarlet and so I ended up with a maple leaf, to press in Ryans’ journal. . .for of course I introduced him to the trees. There was also the moon, which he already knew about -and birds. I would be hard pressed to name a more delightful moment, than when Ryans’ fair face is gazing in sheer wonder at the Handiwork of God.
One day, we visited a pumpkin patch. It was the biggest pumpkin patch that i had ever seen. Rolling hills were covered with bright splashes of orange. There was a corn maze and a hay ride-all sorts of activities, but we declined all of them. Instead we walked by the corn field. Ryan loved the freedom of open air and open space to frolic in. We left with pumpkins and blackberry sauce. . . and a wonderful memory.
Now the work week went along, til it was Friday. That was the day that Mama and I left to go see my sister, Delores and niece, Dana, at their beach house. . . three hours away.
The GPS on Mamas’ car worked the first few hours, then the screen went blank and the thing started barking all sorts of bad directions. Regular readers know this was a nightmare come true, for me. Traffic was awful and convinced me everybody was late for something. . . and had nine lives. I resorted to reading signs, like we used to and at long last, with a call or two to Delores, we made it. It had taken us an hour longer, than expected. Dana presented us with gifts as soon as we were settled and that took a lot of the sting out of our harrowing trip. Dana is an artist in heart and so she made us bracelets. Mine had a honeybee on it!
On Saturday, not long after breakfast, we went to the soft sands by the mighty Atlantic. There were a few folks in the distance and the weather was perfect. The ocean waves were gentle and lapped softly on the shore. For a while we collected shells and neglected our books. I collected shells for my friend, Elaine, for she is a devoted care giver for her husband and Miss Thelma. Her outings are limited to appointments and grocery pick up. I started making “pictures” with shells for amusement and made several little birds. Then we all sat and talked, and neglected our books some more. It is not often, the ocean seems drowsy and without constant churning, the water was a pure aqua color. It was worth neglecting a book, to hear my Mama laugh by such a sea. . .and to listen to my sisters’ hopes and dreams.
Delores has a lovely house. It is spacious and furnished beautifully. If it were featured in a magazine, I would not be shocked. Every bedroom has a large balcony and so does the dining area and the living room. Meals was prepared precisely. Delores used measuring cups and spoons and timers- a far cry from my sloppy methods -and each meal was applauded.
You probably know that Mama and I dreaded the trip back. Delores had found some type of GPS on Mamas’ fancy phone and assured us it would be accurate. Still, I had her at least tell me how to get off the island. “Left, left, right, left” I chanted as we drove away. The homes there were all extravagant and painted in every pastel, I could name . . but mostly empty of people. When Mama and I got to the main roads, I kept a cautious eye on where we were, just in case -but the gps did chime in and relieved my concerns. We were home at the predicted hour, as it turned out.
For a while, the ocean was mine, and I had the sea shells to prove it. I was part of a different world, where there were no folks to ask me who I was voting for and covid was not a threat on the sandy shore. The Atlantic was singing and shining for the world, no matter our transgressions against her, for “love keeps no record of wrongs.” In these “unfamiliar days, of unfamiliar ways, nature remains as steadfast as the arms of a mother. . . and like a mother, talks to us without insincerity and without malice . Even a young pine knows that . . .and an old sparrow, does too.