Rabbitpatch Business

I suppose that I can say with  certainty, that spring has truly arrived at the rabbitpatch.  Barring some patchy frost,  a week ago,  the days have been fair and the sun generous, as of lately.  This is the earliest spring, that I  ever remember.  If it were up to me, I would declare Easter this week, for the dogwoods and azaleas are at last in bloom.  Jasmine and wisteria now drape the woodlands .   Pastures are green and the fields are planted.  How grateful I am for the landscape as it is very reassuring to me that “all is not lost”. . .and in fact, the best remains.  Maybe everyone could at least all  agree that a pot of geraniums is “a thing of beauty”. 
The anniversary of Daddys’ passing, was just after, I returned from Raleigh.  My sisters and I met at Mamas’ to spend a night or two together.  None of us could comprehend that Daddy left us a year ago. Grief is so complex, I think.  Often, I try to divert myself from heartbreak.  I will plant and mend and clean . . .just to let those details fill me.  Other times, I willingly rush headlong into the sorrow.   There is no “rhyme or reason” to grief.  I go from “acting almost saintly” to an awful disposition in  a flash!  I miss my father every day , that is all I can say, with certainty. 
On Saturday, I left for Elizabeth City.  I had not been in a while longer than usual.  Lyla is now six and  has lost her first tooth – both big milestones to this very sentimental “Honeybee”.  Brynn converses easily these days and is out of diapers!  She is two, and I am bewildered by that as well.  I  always say that time is the most precious commodity, we have and I declare it again, in light of the grandchildren.  Childhood is so very fleeting . . and I am so very greedy.  I just can not get my fill of these happy hours spent holding little hands.  . .so off I went, for a visit . . .and  walked right in to a “surprise party”!   
My birthday was on Sunday.    I knew that  Jenny would have a cake and the little girls would make cards -but what a shock to see Brant, Sydney and Ryan, Tres and Sarah standing in the kitchen, when I walked in!   
The next few days were spent swinging the grandchildren, watching Brant, Tres and Will play basketball and eating all sorts of good food.  I left with fine soaps, chocolates, a set of glasses with honeybees on them and sweet memories to tuck in my heart.  That was some birthday!  What a happy, peaceful  time . . . and so very brief. 
Since my return to the rabbitpatch, all sorts of business has  sprung up- complicated business, that demands “the wisdom of Solomon” to tend .  One after another, they all popped up like a row of daisies!  Each issue hinges on another, making it all the more complex.  The only one, I am at liberty to write about, is selling the rabbit patch.
  Daddy has been passed a year, and at last, I have mustered the gumption to spruce the place up and work towards my “little house” dream.  What sparked this was a call from from a realtor friend who had several clients looking for older homesteads.  This sounds promising and it inspired me to tidy the place . . just in case.  From there, other things happened. Now, we are all well, so no one should fret-and in time the “dust will settle”  This bit of chaos will smooth out like it ought to.  Remember, too, any business rattles me. 
I have noticed,  that when things “roll merrily along”, and make good sense to us, then, if we have a faith -we are all to happy to practice it.  Maybe we think, that  if we are good enough, surely we can expect blessings.  I am certainly in this habit . . but I stay on alert, not to be a “fair weather believer”.  When things do not make sense , or an outright calamity  descends-and most especially, without  any fault on my part . .THEN, is when I can truly get the  measure of my faith.  Just a day or so ago, I literally,  asked God aloud -“What are you doing?”   . .so I am often “found wanting” of genuine substance.  I always try to remember folks with circumstances more dire than mine . . but sometimes, I find myself too childish, to do so.  Once, I remember saying to God, “I am tired of thinking about starving children, to make myself feel better!”    (Now you see, how very far from good, I can be.)    I am so thankful for mercy, when I remember my many short comings.   Still, with my long lamentation, I have some good news.
All is not lost, even on folks like me, who behave poorly, at times.  I spent the days doing all sorts of chores. As I cleaned a very dirty barn, I went over the  many details of my circumstances.  As I worked in the “Quiet Garden”, getting scratched by thorns,  I considered the many scenarios of how things could unfold.  As I painted the garden benches,  I contemplated what to do next.  By the time I was watching a little fire burn in the garden,  I was tired and had exhausted myself mentally with all that thinking.    Now, God at long last had something to work with. 
I admitted, that I could not see a single solution clearly, and  how to proceed  was  still a mystery.   The bonds of vanity are stifling.  Somehow, I knew  that there was an intricate fabric being woven-my fabric and woven  by the Hand of God .   That beautiful “peace that passes understanding”  is very real and what liberty to not feel so responsible to resolve things that are out of my own feeble intellect. 
If it seems  to you that I exercised my faith as a last resort , you would be about right.   Since the onset, I had gone through  the motions of   praying and reciting  inspiring verses.  . .but  a fear was ever present .  I have always struggled with where my responsibility  ends with things .
Right now, the rabbitpatch is sorted out nicely.  The  tender blooms of the narcissus, lend their sweetness to the air.  I have seen two young rabbits and listened to a thousand songbirds.  The first rose has bloomed and the peach tree is full of promises.
To me, these things are miracles.  Though some people may live and declare they have never seen a miracle . . .I see them everyday.

Silence is Golden.

It is that time of year when the rabbitpatch looks just a bit wild.  It is always a brief affair and one I have come to look forward to.  Not yet, has the territory been tended , other than branches are piled in the garden, for the day that I am brave enough to burn again.  All sorts of uncivilized blossoms dot the countryside.  There is the wild mustard  and the ground ivy . . .and the chickweed.  The bees are not complaining, so neither will I.   The violets are back.  They have a quiet and pure beauty -shy, but dignified – I will not utter a single complaint about them either.  How carefully I step along the footpath to the garden these bright days! 
The quiet garden, is awake, now too.  Old branches don tender young leaves.  The bench to rest and dream upon needs painting and there is some tending required in general.  No matter how kindly, I speak to the roses, I  will get scratched in the unmerciful battle. 
Now, the peach and cherry trees have a few “early bird” blossoms in a sort of prelude, to their long awaited finery, yet to come . . .but the spireas are in full bloom.  The stark white tendrils of a spirea are dazzling and that is putting it mildly.  The spirea is only seen on old homesteads, these days.  I wonder how shrubs like spireas and “Sweet Bettys” and snowball bushes -and quince,  ever fell to the wayside.   Of course I am sentimental about all things.  I just never can abandon a thing of beauty.     
When ” flowers appear on the earth”,  seemed like a fine time to gather, so we did.  We met at Mamas’ for a mid day dinner and an Easter egg hunt.  Christian played his guitar for Lyla, Brynn and Ryan, while Delores and I hid the brightly colored eggs  by daffodils and in clumps of clover.  The eggs sparkled in the sunlight and  were easily in sight ,  for this was Ryans’  first hunt!   There are few things more delightful than watching young children on an Easter egg hunt, I think.   . .and more than  ever I deliberately seek the purest forms of beauty, these days.   
When a gathering ends, life always dulls and regular readers know I  am likely to mope . . but I could not help but brighten at the sight of the winter wheat field, across the road , from the rabbitpatch, upon my return.  I was “raised on field and wood” and now in my later years, these things are still as beautiful to me as they ever were.   Extreme and rapid progression or” leaping without looking”, has yet to  taint, the serenity of a field of winter wheat.  It is the greenest green around and nearly shouts vitality and life!  The trees are singing too.  . .sweet, soulful melodies composed by watery jade leaves.  It is no wonder that mornings are filled with the joyful and unceasing chatter of songbirds!  Now, with first light and the birds, an alarm clock holds even less   value at the rabbitpatch. 
Some of you may remember, that a month or so ago, I declared a time of quiet, for myself.  I have adhered to it and what results!  When one is quiet, observance becomes your means of education.  Truth shines more clearly and seems to loom right before your eyes!  Truth has always been important to me and I have sought it with great fervor.  I have been easily fooled countless times and left bewildered, too. How dull and fruitless it is, “to lean on your own understanding”.   
Watching life, does not change the facts – but it sure does require a lot less work on my part.  Please understand, that “watching” does not mean a lack of participation. In fact, I am finding that my desire to participate hasn’t diminished at all. The difference, is an increased awareness of how to act… and when to.    . in short, how to proceed. “Being still” is all it is cracked up to be. 
By now, I am convinced that I have never had an original thought -or said anything first.  Many a sage implored all of us, to do this very thing.   . .and how many  times did my elders say, “Silence is golden” ?  
They were just right about everything.