I woke this morning, to a light rain falling. Since I did not have to go in to work, I laid very still and listened to the gentle splash of the raindrops on the windows and roof. How tenderly the rain fell. It would have lulled me right back to sleep, but a rainy morning entices me to wake and not a miss moment. It is my favorite time to write, after all.
It never rains, that I do not remember, the voices of my elders, saying “I love you like rain.” Tears well up as I write this now, fifty years later, remembering my maternal grandmother, for she said it the most. Of course we were a farming family, and so rain meant a lot to us. I say this to my children and grandchildren, for it is one more way to “tell the story”.
Thankfully, this week did not pass with the fanfare of the week, before it. There were not quite so many unusual details . There is always a project to be done on the rabbitpatch, but the fervor of a prospective buyer coming always evokes a sense of rush- and those that know me best, can testify, that I elude rush with practiced skill. The young man called me a few days after his visit, to say how much he loved the rabbitpatch, but could not buy it. Now, things work out as they ought to and so, I do not need consolation. What I needed, I received and that is always of great profit.
If gains are only measured financially, then it is no wonder to me that folks feel “robbed” or that they “lost out” on something, often. We conjure up outcomes, according to our desires never considering our solutions might not be brilliant or even right. I have learned this the hard way, as I have most lessons, but the liberty that results, is well worth the “hard knocks”.
“Officially” it is now Autumn, that beloved time of mine. Oh, how I love the brightest days of the year -and the silvery, grey ones too. The air is filled with chill and fog and dancing leaves and tendrils of smoke rising from small burn piles, tended by folks wearing light jackets. . .just like my “Pop” used to.
I am a sentimental sort, by nature, and for some reason autumn time never fails to awaken memories dimmed in other seasons. I have said before, that September is a time to remember -at least for me. The farm was such a happy time in early autumn. The long, hot , toiling summer days were behind us and the harvest days were like a long celebration. The elders were cheerful and laughed a lot. Grandmama made an apple pie every day, for there were several apple trees along the edge of the garden. It was the next best thing to Christmas.
After those years, my memories are of football games and realising that ” boys were cute”. I collected rain water to wash my hair in and polished my oxfords, promptly at the first sign of a scuff. I preferred a different radio station and sang the songs aloud as I walked the woods and fields – and dreamed like a “big shot”, for that is the fashion of dreams in youth. Thankfully, those shallow dreams vanished in to the thin woodland air, along with my youth, for a more beautiful life, than I could have ever imagined, unfolded. Years later, I was a mother and every autumn, after frost, we were in the woods. We walked and read books and picnicked regularly.
It seems, that I take a long stroll down “memory lane”, every autumn and this year is no exception. . . . but this year, more than any one , . . . I am remembering Daddy.
The shock of losing Daddy, has almost worn off. Now, the sorrow has settled in, at times, thicker than the blinding fog at dawn. I was looking at Christmas ornaments recently, and could not imagine, a Christmas without Daddy. I painted a table, one day, that Daddy had given me-my dear “Morning Table”. I could not wait to be done with it and the glory of the crisp white paint, was lost on me. I argued again, with a door knob, that Daddy had tried to fix and couldn’t-which had shocked me, then. Now, I know that was one of first warnings, I was given, but I missed it altogether. Everything seems to prod me to remember Daddy . . even supper, some times.
I am not crippled by the sadness and do not even see it as something peculiar. Grief can masquerade in many ways and show up at odd times. It is a natural consequence when we lose someone we loved-and someone that loved us. It is an undeniably powerful force and we just never get to be an expert at grief. I do not give an account of this, to initiate sympathy, for we have all grieved over some sort of loss. Like the rain, “it falls on the just and the unjust” – instead, maybe there is some sort of consolation, in knowing that it really is ok, to mourn while you paint a table or if “out of the blue” tears fall on Christmas ornaments.
Grief is a complicated affair. . .and not all days are created equally. Some days are bright and hopeful and others are not. . . .but really all offer some beauty, if we but examine the contents of them. I am convinced that I will not have to look far or hard or long to confirm this.
The maples will soon be scarlet and the sweetgum will don every autumn color, all at once, earning bragging rights, in the countryside. Now, the fields lie golden and beckon us to gaze upon them. They shine fairly now, in the light of early autumn. The bright plumes of the ragweed cover the ditch banks and floss flowers and wild mulberry bloom-and that sweet morning glory . . . .Daddy never did like morning glory, for they tangled up on the plows of his tractor. . . but I thought, they made the tractor beautiful.