There are but a few swiftly waning hours left of my summer. Hence, I have cleaned out every closet and cabinet in the little house on Bonnet Street. I have also been jumping at every command the bank issues-not” my cup of tea”, I told the loan officer., the other day. I have unpacked boxes, whose fate remained uncertain, until recently.
I start school this week.
Now the first signs of a garden are evident, in the back yard. Phlox, pinks and russian sage have settled in nicely, just like the peach tree. Brant gave me two Indian Hawthorns- They are the beginning of the “living fence” that I hope to create. A young butterfly bush is blooming under an old bird house . . .and there are birdbaths. My grandfathers’ old wagon wheels are propped against an oak tree. Tea Olives, Holly, Cape Jessamine, roses and such things dance in my head like sugarplums- Oh, the heart of a gardener is full of hope!
Last weekend, we gathered in Raleigh. Brant and Sydney were quite the host and hostess. Sydney made a cake, that was one of the best, I have ever eaten, When I get the right flour, I will attempt it myself. Brant made a small fire one night for smores. Lyla, especially loved that. My sons watched sports together and my daughters chatted. The “brother and sister cousins” frolicked about. Nobody wanted it to end, in fact Brynn declared she was staying!
I doubt there is little else with the same degree of satisfaction, as that derived from a loving family. All other accomplishments pale in comparison. I see my children raising their own with tenderness and thoughtfulness and my heart floods with joy. Another thing, is that they know their children deeply and thoroughly. I watch Tres being the kind of uncle, every child wants. The scene is like watching a poem, to me. . . even when the grandchildren are naughty!
I realised on my drive home, that at last, the place does feel like home. . .and I felt glad about it.
A house does not become a home in a flash. At first, it is a place to keep your things, like a huge closet-It is also a place to sleep and a shelter, all admirable and traits to desire. But a home, is more than a structure. It is a place in your journey, where someone has a birthday. It has the back door for our loved ones. It smells like supper cooking. When you know which window the sun shines in-and when and know personally, where the sparrow builds a nest . . . then you are home.
I suppose for me, it also means hours playing in the dirt and welcoming the young flowers to their new home. I have had conversations with the oaks, too. I know where the boxer likes to rest . . and there are the chiming church bells.
To think, that less than a year ago, I was picking up curtains and clothes out of the yard, seems unreal. I knew then that the place was surely unlovable and very temporary. It was the only rental in this small town that allowed a dog, no matter how much money one had. So, for the love of a dog, I had taken it. I did not want to rent either. I cleaned it and tolerated it. I went on a quest trying to get out of it . . That was a short lived affair. I remember feeling trapped. I mourned for the old farmhouse and the countryside. . . some days, worse than others.
I was glad to have a home and that the neighborhood was quiet. I reminded myself that at least there were old trees. Nothing convinced me that I could love the place, though. I felt ashamed that I was ungrateful. When the deal was struck with the landlords it felt safe to plant the potted friends, from Farm Life. I felt inclined to buy my beloved pinks . . .and then I dove head long and started a garden. So far, so good, with all the business that goes along buying a home. Things can change at any given moment, but I will remember that under the old oak, covered in dirt, I fell in love with the rosewood cottage . . on a rabbitpatch . . . for today . . .that is enough.