It has rained every day since we almost had a picnic. Pouring rains, sprinkles and lazy, gently falling showers have rendered the territory a spectacular, soggy mess. I have never seen such weather in the many years that I have called this place home. Twice, I have slipped, attempting to venture out between showers, to survey the watery world of the rabbitpatch. Rain is apparently very good for unruly vines and weeds. I miss the clothes line-and I am quite concerned about the begonias.
I spent the best part of two days on Mamas’ porch. My sisters and nieces came to visit and so did my “cousin Lynn”. How good it was to all be together. I had not seen Lynn in a long while, but she is as clever and funny as ever. I like that she is sensible and genuine. The small gathering left me refreshed and hopeful . . and glad. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how long you know someone-even for a lifetime -you can keep learning more about them. In that way, you somehow learn more about yourself, as well.
It rained every day, after that special time -up until Sunday, the day of our surprise birthday party, for Brant. Sydneys’ parents had booked a cottage at the outerbanks of NC. Sydney had planned a day for all of us to come, unbeknownst to Brant. It was a long journey and we had heard harrowing accounts of traffic delays. The forecast was bleak, too, thus , Tres, Sarah and I left with ample concerns.
The trip started out fine, just as the day did, for at long last the sun was shining brightly. Somehow or another, the traffic was never once jammed and we arrived with time to spare! When Brant walked in and saw us all there, any doubt I had harbored , vanished into the the thin ocean air. All afternoon, the men played with the children, in the pool. The women visited with one another and produced towels and food as needed. I watched the children having such a big time with the uncles, a father and a “Papa” too. What a grand and joyous time. The families blend so well, I thought. . .what a sweet blessing.
Brant and I took a walk on the longest pier, that I have ever been on. For as far as you could see, was a powdery blue sea. Brant and I have always rambled this earth and so it seemed a fitting conclusion to the day.
Brant is as much like me, as I am. . .only he is better. He is just never unkind, nor does he have an ounce of judgement in him, towards others. He loves all creatures and is devoted to caring for this planet. He buys clothes and shoes from retailers that match your purchase with items for the poor. He is also handy and helpful. Once he quit a job, because his employer seemed to dislike senior citizens, and spoke so rudely to them, that Brant could not bear it. He is a very devoted father, which to me, is as endearing as anything. It is no wonder, that everybody loves Brant’.
If it sounds like I am bragging . . .rest assured that I am . . and I am liable to do so, every chance that I get. I have always made it a habit to praise others for splendid character- Most especially my children. I have not yet raised a perfect one, but I have come mighty close. . .at least when it comes to matters of the heart.
Monday and the days after . .
Now, since the return from the sea, the weather has been much friendlier. Of course, an untended rabbitpatch, is a dreadful sight. With the sun shining, I have attempted to reclaim the dignity of the territory. The mosquitoes are awful, as I predicted, and so I work in spurts. I do love to work on this old place.
When I am by the young woods, cutting the hateful and quite resilient, thorned vines, the shade of “Aunt Carolyns’ rose of Sharons falls on me now, like a loving embrace . . and I remember her generosity and firey spirit. There is also the biggest butterfly bush, that I have ever seen -planted by the “Hand of God” about seven years ago. Wild honeysuckle clambers in an uncivilized manner, everywhere. The tender fragrance of a honeysuckle vine is sweet and never fails to remind of my youth when I walked the edge of field, in the evenings. I work,in a trance amongst such provocations and am quite surprised at my progress most days. It usually takes a rabbit dashing by, to make me snap out of it and realise that I am so hungry! I leave the hallowed ground and take account of my scratches, bites and the dirt covering me. I wash, eat and do something creative in the afternoon.
One day, I painted an old cabinet and set it atop a very old table. Both painted a delicate mint green. I have washed and rehung curtains, hung a very old mirror and hung solar lanterns with merry ribbons hither and yonder. The territory is as full of charm as the law allows, when the twilight hour comes. One day, filled with ambition, I decided to start cleaning up the oldest barn. That is the one with a portion of rotten floor. I retrieved a floor lamp that had been standing in an old corner.
It is an elaborate thing with ornate metal and a real marble base. The globe is surrounded by several electric candles. I imagine “Aunt Caddie”, the former owner, must have set such store in that lamp. I set it carefully, by the door . . and then promptly fell through the floor! I laid there a moment, stunned and pain shot through my hip. I soon overcame the pain with a fear of snakes and spiders-and managed to crawl out. Thankfully, I had fallen not too far from the staircase and so I used that to stand. The pain eased tremendously and so, I left the barn . . in worse shape than how I found it. Of course, I dealt with the wrath of the children, for days afterwards.
Another day, I restored that old lamp and then hung a cheerful flag on the porch.
Regular readers, know full well, that I have been on a mission to live simply for a while now. It began with a major decluttering of the house. Afterwards, the only things left were useful things and things that I have great affection for. Not yet, have I dared to venture back on that decision. I live by “waste not, want not” which my elders embedded in me, with precision. (How handy that lesson is.)
As I go about my chores, I think . . a lot. I realised how a sense of peace and contentment was ever present, even as I did battle with thorns and poison. I wondered how I could simplify my life more. . .not just with possessions, but my way of thinking too . . .my way of being.
Life may not be as complicated, as we think. I started sorting out, what things do I love?-and what things do I really need? . . . In short, an inventory of what things really matter. Those are the things, I should dwell upon, I thought -standing there by the old field and the edge of the young woods. Just the idea, of truly abandoning unnecessary , trivial things and unworthy matters, made me feel untethered , much like the wild rabbits . . .and my beloved sparrows. Of course,
I am not sure, what prompted my wild and lofty notions, that day. It could be, that so many things have transpired, all life altering and all out of my control, in the last year. That was harrowing -and gloomy. Finally, I can say with full confidence, I haven’t a clue what will unfold . . .and yet, I abide in peace. . .or it could be that, being older and standing by the field, in the shade of a whispering pine . . made the difference.