Though one forecast said different, the day of our picnic dawned fair. One weather station said one thing and another one, said something different. Either way rain was heading our way sometime around mid afternoon or much later in the evening . The station that had claimed a rainy dawn, I discounted altogether . I wondered how the radar, could spin such various tales.
I picked up groceries, put them away and had painted a large metal trashcan by nine am. I proceeded to plant petunias and scrub the kitchen floor. Mama got here around eleven, as I was cleaning the bathroom. I still had to make a cucumber salad and put those very lovely tablecloths out. Jenny, Will and the little girls arrived in time to help me tie up the loose ends . Brant, Sydney and Ryan drove up to find most everything was in place. How beautiful it looked, under the old sycamores, I was thinking, when Will called me to look at the sky. It wasn’t even noon! . . but the southern horizon was dark. Within moments, wind and rain swooped in, turning things over and making us scatter. The wind blew the rain sideways. making the shelters, useless. We saved everything, thankfully and crowded in to the rabbitpatch kitchen. Will made a few mad dashes and ended up soaked. Christian rescued the table cloths and the cooler.
We ate in a disorderly fashion. We had to hunt for the pickles, which were with the ice cream toppings. I had to laugh at how all of my careful planning had turned to chaos so quickly.
While we were scavenging for things like forks . . .the sun came out! I suggested a walk around the territory-mainly because I wanted all to see the fruits of my labor . . and to show Lyla the starlings .. . and where the dove lives.
Brant fell in love with the place, all over again, wiled by its’ charm, as I am. He kept pointing out all of the beloved nooks, the vast views of fields and woods, the many birds and the peace of the place til, I too, was “head over heels” myself, all over again. Of course, I was second guessing my decision to sell the farm.
I was just about to list it officially, when my job status changed. Certainly, I could sell, but also as certain, is that I would have to have another home. A reduced income impacted that piece of the puzzle, with brute force. That is why I said. “one thing hinged on another”. Now, my head and my heart , are at odds again! Must I always land in a brier patch? “Peace will come “, I remind myself. It always does . . .as sure as rain.
That night, the rain returned, Claps of the loudest thunder , had us all jumping. The thunder did not last, but the rain did. It rained most all of Sunday, too. Along with the rain and the loudest thunder, came a brisk , almost cold, wind. It felt like October! Mama and I left on Monday, for Raleigh. It was to be just an overnight visit. Sydney had a meeting on Tuesday and we would tend Ryan. “Tending Ryan” is easy business. He still love tractors and now, building blocks. He sings songs now too. . .and has all but quit eating the cats’ food! Mama and I came home on Tuesday and I went back to school on Wednesday.
This was our last week of the year and the last days of my job, as music teacher. I have mostly come to terms with circumstances, but how odd I felt, packing up things. Memories were darting and flashing like fireworks, as I filled boxes. I could hear the Christmas concerts clearly as I walked to the car.
To combat the nostalgia, I wondered , “what beautiful things await, next year?” I pictured a table laden with gifts, for me to open. They held things like, more liberty to walk in the woods, to see your loved ones, to read more and to write more . . .and many had delightful secrets. It may seem childish, but it worked. We all imagine our futures, at times. I am going to imagine and declare, one of beauty. Besides, we all “walk by faith, not by sight” whether we believe it or not.
Now, for two days rain fell hard and fast. I do not remember ever seeing such a spectacle. Not even hurricanes, have rendered the rabbitpatch so soggy. These were not showers, for the thunder was like clockwork and you couldn’t see past your hand. Since this weather came just behind the day , we almost had a picnic, fields were covered in water and ditches spilled over the country roads. Every rain catching bucket I have is filled to the brim and any other vessel that could hold water, does at the moment. I can only hope that the beloved swallows are hungry, for mosquitoes are sure to follow, such an event. And so . . .for me it is summer. It is the time to stroll by that laughing river. It is time to tell stories and build castles. I will paint roses and cut thorned vines . . and sit on Mamas’ porch and I will cast off any sense of rush (barring another fire). Maybe, I will plan another picnic. . .and I will dream – and I mean to dream boldly .