While We Were All Together


There is a rabbit family that lives in the “Quiet Garden”.  This morning three of the bunnies attended the “early service”.  They were quite serious about their breakfast,  when light was faint.  As soon as the first rays of morning streaked the territory, however, the bunnies  began to play.  This disturbed a robin, who was still in his plight for breakfast.  The robin scolded the young rabbits and flapped his wings in a threatening manner, which made them dash in all directions.  It was the first “early service” I had attended at the rabbit patch, in almost a week and I wondered if some sort of feud had developed in my absence-or if the robin was just grouchy.

Brant and I got back around noon yesterday, from Elizabeth City.  It had been a wonderful and very productive week. We managed to have a lot of fun, as well.  I think, we all were sorry to see it end. So many projects had been completed.  There were special meals.  We watched a thunderstorm, one evening and ate ice cream at odd hours.  Lyla said “I am glad we are all together.”  I agreed whole heartedly, for there was some sort of beautiful and familiar feeling that was present, while we were all together. 

 On the way home,  Brant noticed from some sticker, I never knew about, that I was long over due for an oil change and was adamant  it should be done within the hour or else the car would likely fail me-  and at any given moment.  Out of fear, I relented and had it done before I got back to the rabbit patch.  I am awful at such things and usually need conversations embellished with stern warnings to  do any business of that sort.

 The rabbit patch seemed more sprawling than ever, after  being in the village by the laughing river, for a while.  Of course the grass needed mowing, but otherwise, it was mostly tidy.  My boxer, “Cash” ran several laps in unbridled joy at my return.  My cat, “Christopher Robin” sauntered by, seeming only slightly interested in my return –  but I heard him purring.

I had high hopes of mowing today after the early service.  Within the first fifteen, minutes, the newly replaced bolt, that holds the deck up, broke.  Not to be out done, I found some wire and rigged it successfully.  It would not start back, so I played with the connections to the battery.  The heat was about unbearable, but I was determined and eventually got it started.  In the next fifteen minutes I hit a root, and bent the deck in so the blades could not turn.  I tinkered with the thing, for most of the afternoon-and to no avail.  I didn’t care one iota when it started raining.  I was hot, filthy and had to battle “yellow flies” while lying in the dirt. I had not  made a bit of progress.  I was discouraged and cranky.  In such circumstances,  I call Mama and complain to my hearts’ content.   Then, I collect myself and start putting things in perspective.  So while it rained, I began to think of all the  wonderful gifts in my life-my loved ones especially, and suddenly it seemed foolish to get so worked up over a lawn mower.  I had laughed at the robin this morning for acting like he would surely starve just because the bunnies were kicking up a fuss . . .and now, I had followed suit and acted like I would surely perish, all because of a lawn mower.  

The rain fell steadily and the sound of it had the same affect as listening to poetry.   It did cool things off, thankfully, too.  I am not fond of the souths’ hot, humid weather.  . .nor the biting insects.  But, summer does offer me sweet liberty and magnolia trees with their fragrant blooms. . .and there are nights with a million twinkling stars.  There is  the wild honeysuckle and Miss Claudias’ beloved peaches. . . . Summer, like every season, comes bearing gifts.  



It Happened on Sunday


On Saturday night, I was in the rabbit patch kitchen- the same could be said of Sunday morning.  This past Sunday, was no ordinary Sunday.  It was Mothers’ Day, after all.

Mama and Daddy were coming , my sister, Delores, and my niece, Dana.  I set out to  serve something everybody would love.  I ended up with  Jo Dees’ barbecued chicken, as the main course.  Everybody enjoys it and once you put it in the oven, you can just forget about  it and go about other things.  I had peeled at least a peck of potatoes, Saturday night and made potato salad.  Mama loves my potato salad.  I had also concocted a trifle of strawberries, pound cake and cheesecake dressing-because, Mama likes strawberries, too.  On Sunday morning, only a big pot of green beans had to be cooked and cheese biscuits made-because Dana loves cheese biscuits.

While the kitchen filled with aromas that foretold of  a “special” gathering . . .I washed floors.  Later in the morning, I went out to gather roses.  Right on time, the “Mothers’ Day” rose was in full bloom.  It is a rambling vine, with small pink roses that cascade over the picket fence, in a delightful fashion.  When paired with red and white roses,  and the white fragrant spikes of the spice bush, it made a lovely arrangement.  

The cheese biscuits were made at the last possible moment, so they would be piping hot , as biscuits ought to be.  A few of them were eaten just as everyone arrived-and before the blessing was said.  As, we were eating, Delores said she had finally made it to Sunday Dinner and I suspected, she thought that ought to be mentioned in the Rabbitpatch Diary.  She  was right, as she lives several hours away, and besides, this was no ordinary Sunday.

We had a nice visit . We ate the trifle and not long after, we said our good byes and vowed to spend time together in the summer.  The kitchen seemed especially quiet.  My oldest sons had to work, but called in the afternoon.  I couldn’t help but miss them.  At some point, I felt too sentimental, and so I took a walk around the territory.  Taking a walk, is as therapeutic  as peeling potatoes or washing dishes and  my spirits were soon restored.  Besides, I reminded myself,   in a few short weeks, they will all come home for the “Memorial Day” holiday.

The moon took its’ sweet time rising last night.  It was a particularly beautiful shade of amber.  I had walked by the fields of clary sage, earlier and decided I had to see them in the moon shine.  I stood before them, moments later and was glad I had come.  The fields seemed aglow as if a spell had been cast -a spell that rendered a stillness and a sense of well-being.  Fireflies flickered here and there -and all I wanted to do was pray, under such conditions.  It was a wonderful grand finale to the day.

Dear Diary,  I am glad for roses and fields of clary sage.  I am glad for slow rising moons and strawberries . I am glad for tables laden with foods served in pretty dishes, with loved ones gathered around-and I am glad for Sundays- all of them, but most especially the ones that are far from ordinary.

When the Woods are Golden


Dear Diary,  Tuesday was lovely.

Not every day is  full of lovely things-but today was.  It is true this year, at least, that “March does go out like a lamb”.  On days like this one, it ought to be a sin to be inside.  I took full advantage of every chance I got, to stand in the sunlight.  It is on account of that I saw the blossoms in the wind and the violets growing beneath them.

Driving home from work, I noticed my beloved winter wheat fields in all their glory.  I do not think anyone could argue, if they were in the midst of winter wheat in March.  

Not long after I arrived at the rabbit patch, it started to sprinkle little silver drops.  I decided to make soup, as I am only prone to make soup in frightful weather.  The occasion of a cool rain warranted  soup and I so I put together a hearty tomato soup with  plenty of basil.  I baked a loaf of bread and while the soup simmered and the bread was rising,  I  called my friend, Jo Dee.  We were having a pleasant conversation and the rain became heavy.  The sun was shining faintly throughout the thundering.  Though Jo Dee doesn’t live so far from the rabbit patch, there wasn’t a cloud in sight at her house.  The rain was quick to pass and that is when I saw the rainbow.  Jo Dee was in mid sentence about something when I abruptly ended the call, for, I told her, “the most beautiful rainbow, I have ever seen!”  I called Kyle and Christian.  They came running, expecting to fight fire, so they were relieved it was all because of the rainbow.  They hushed any complaints, when they saw it.  The sky was dark blue and maybe that is why the rainbow was so vibrant.  The colors were distinct and bright.  No other rainbow, I had seen before, compared to this one. 

It did not phase Jo Dee, that I hung up on her.  She is used to my behavior when I see something beautiful.  She herself, has been known to brake, while driving, at the sight of a cardinal in a pear tree.

Dear Diary, I love everything!

In contrast to yesterday, today was overcast.  As I feared, the dogwoods are blooming and with Easter weeks away!  The fairy roses of the spireas  have come and gone, so now it is up to the azaleas for Easter Sunday to look at all familiar.  I noticed that the jasmine is blooming.  Woodland trees wear crowns or garlands of the bright sweet smelling flowers.  The jasmine flowers seemed to light up the woods on this “silver” day.   No matter which tree the vines clamber upon-oaks, pine or the lowly sweetgum, the tendrils with golden blossoms  show no favoritism. My friend, Julie loves the smell of Jasmine, and I always think of her when the jasmine blooms.

I love every season.  With the arrival of each season, I declare it my favorite.  I do not intend to be fickle, but I am enamored by all sorts of occurrences throughout the year.  I love snow and I love tulips.  I love summer mornings.  I love roses and autumn leaves.  I really love Thanksgiving,  and I really  love Christmas – and now, today,  when the woods are golden, I remember . . .  Dear Diary, I love Jasmine, too.

Things Hoped For


I returned to the rabbit patch from Elizabeth City and found things in good order.  The boys had kept the place tidy-and Christopher Robin was sleeping peacefully , as if he were a well mannered cat and had not caused a ruckus, recently. Cash, my boxer was especially glad to see me.  Cash had nothing to feel shame about, neither did Moon Shine, formerly known as “the wild kitten”.  Moon Shine is  now a pudgy kitten with a most unusual voice.  He s quite talkative and makes all sorts of sounds, that I have never heard any other cat make.  At times, he sounds like a small child-at other times,  he sounds like a tropical bird.  He was singing and Cash was dancing while Christopher Robin slept through my homecoming.  Even so, I could not hold it against him.  I was so glad he was home.

The drive home on Tuesday was almost treacherous.  A thick blanket of fog made the now familiar drive, seem like a strange venture.  Places that I  now consider my landmarks, were hidden- even the highway seemed to unfold only a few feet before me. At times, I was sure I was the only one left in the world, then there would be a sign of life in headlights that appeared for a few seconds and then vanished just as quickly.

The lights in the old farmhouse on the rabbit patch were a welcome sight.  When supper was cooking, I sat down to relax.  I thought how  quiet the world is when fog fills the air.  All of the commotion at the beginning of the new  year seemed a long ways off.  I liked the stillness that hovered over the rabbit patch, like a  “spell ” that prevented any sort of rushing or haste.  The ride home, with its’ obscurity meant I would not miss the serenity of seeing  how magical mist  looks hanging over  water.

 Fog renders a sense of timelessness in the countryside.  All of the rabbit patch becomes a “Quiet Garden” and  the old trees, bare now, in January looked like they were wearing tinsel.  

The animals were all napping as I stared out the window by the morning table.   I could barely make out the biggest old barn .   Sometimes it is like that-we do not always have total clarity to see things.  When things make good sense, we feel content and confident-and if it were always so, I guess that faith would not seem so necessary-but it is when visibility of solutions are hindered, we have the opportunity to practice what we believe.  I have read that “faith is the substance of things hoped for” and I have found it to be a beautiful truth.  

 The kitchen was smelling like”home” with a ham baking, so I decided to peel some potatoes.  I am as happy peeling potatoes as some folks are counting money- and that is a good thing as I usually have more potatoes  than money.   I did some “wishful thinking” til the pot was full.  Christopher Robin slept the whole time- and so, all was well at the rabbit patch .