Sweet August . . .when “white moths are on the wing” . . when gardens lack their former vitality and you can smell the corn drying, in the thick air, at twilight . . .has been hot. It is hot at eight thirty in the morning, scorching by noon and there is not enough coolness in the evening for the weary. Mosquitoes buzz happily and wreck my “early service” and I have found that my prayers , under the stars are “short and sweet”, in August.
I was in Elizabeth City, last week. It was hot there too . . .maybe more so than here at the rabbitpatch. Even a small town has a fair share of concrete -and that makes a difference. Still, the little girls and I managed a few walks and a picnic! The four days, that I spent there were wonderful and full of shining moments. I declare that Lyla is such a good and caring sister for Little Brynn. Lyla reminds me of Jenny, who was a stern but loving second mother to her brothers, when she was growing up. Brynn is becoming quite compassionate. Brynn is not yet three, yet she noticed that a woman walking, seemed sad -and Brynn was probably right, for what a sad countenance this woman wore.
We had supper at “Aunt J’s” one night. Aunt J lives just a good walk, from Will and Jenny. Wills’ mom and my friend, “Miss Claudia, was Aunt J’s sister. Like everyone else, I love Aunt J. Jenny prepared a perfect meal and served us like we were royalty. Then we had ice cream sundaes!
I left on Thursday, quite melancholy, knowing, this was “the last hurrah” of my leisure visits . . for it is August, after all. I start school on Monday.
This was also Tres’ last weekend home. He would be leaving on Saturday. I started moaning about that, the minute, that I got home. I did not shed a single tear in his presence, for Tres is so sensible, it would have shocked him to see how unreasonable, his mom can be. Instead, I packed a bag of food and school supplies and sent him off with the best fake smile, that I could muster. August is just full of “good byes”.
I could choose to “look on the bright side”, for it is also a time for new beginnings as everybody loves to say . . but I will probably sulk a while, before I say that. It is written, “there is a time to mourn” . It is a good thing to be positive, but life is not always roses and sunshine, and to deny sadness, is like a denial of what it means to be human. I do not want anything ugly dwelling in my heart. . .not bitterness or anger, not dismay or sadness . . so, I let feelings wash clean through me, til the beauty of what was lost, outshines the sorrow of losing it, til moving on is more desirable than wallowing – and so when it is a time to mourn, then I do. . .whether it be for such things as a fallen sparrow or a grown up son leaving in August.
My very good parents did not and could not have shielded their children from unpleasantries . Foals were still born, sometimes and dogs died. Some books did not end “happily ever after” and every race was not to be won, though we ran our best. My parents showed us all of life, shadow and light . . and that has made the difference.
Often, I think that recovery from disappointments -and imagination, are some of the most important skills, to teach children, as they will with great certainty, need both.
It finally rained on Sunday and cooled things off. The sky was full of thunder, and I suppose everyone in “Farm Life” was full of hope. I went out and saw huge, steel blue clouds moving overhead. They looked like whales swimming along the horizon. I watched the rain coming across the field. Rarely does rain “sneak” up on you, in the country.
I spent the afternoon, preparing for what seems like a “new job”. that starts on Monday. I confess, that I am almost nervous about it. My niece Hayley , starts a new job too, on Monday and niece Dana has her first day of college. Tres starts school on Tuesday. Nephew Brandon, starts on Monday. Jenny has started a part time job. Oh . . .August came along and just changed everything!
The territory around the old farmhouse is following suit and changes almost daily. Yesterday, the loosestrife sported some blossoms, and the roses are fading. The beloved morning glory is clambering wildly now and ever so often, a dry leaf will fall from a sycamore. The wild mulberry is full of promises for a spectacular show, soon to come and the grapes on the very old vines are not as green as they were a fortnight ago. In this way, I measure time.
Humans may race about at breakneck speed , but nature is never frantic. The world can get mighty loud and commotion springs up at the “drop of a hat”. We get so accustomed to it, that somehow we seem to have “acquired a taste for it’. Nature , on the other hand, whispers its’ fanfare.
Oh, how I love the silent, wild wood, with its’ beauty and lack of racket. ..and the fields that lie quietly and do not boast of their magnificent and mighty value. I have never seen a sky, that did not humble me. I have found something new to love also, for one night, Lyla, Brynn and I were looking out out a window and saw an evergreen with clinging raindrops, lit up by the moonlight. It shone brightly and Lyla gasped at the sight.
August, with its’ heat, mosquitoes and changes . .is at least generous in some respects . I musn’t forget to love August, too.