“Big Days”, Today and Yesterday, Too


The sun has not risen over the barn just yet.  At this particular moment, the first rays of light, make the barn look as holy as any church.  As I predicted, the peach tree is full of tiny little pink promises, and a few of them have already opened.  The peach blossoms are  a very pale shade of pink.  In full bloom, a peach tree is one of my favorite sights.  Last year, the peach tree blossomed in full glory.  It lasted all of a day, as an ice storm came that night.  I vividly remember the burnt blossoms that seemed to turn to paper and were scattered like trash, with the first breeze.  In July, two peaches were on the tree.  

I have a huge pot of collards simmering already.  I still need to make potato salad and cheese biscuits-enough for twenty people.  Today is a “big day”.  Today we are officially celebrating Mamas’ birthday.  The secrets of the past few weeks, will “come to light” today.. . that is all that  can go in the diary at this moment.

Yesterday was a “big day” too.  I spent a few leisure hours with my children and Lyla. The boys played basketball, while Jenny, Kelsey and I sat on the big front porch with Lyla.  Tres and Kelsey, returned from Rome, a week ago.  Tres said he had something for me and I immediately told him, that he shouldn’t have brought anything back-It was enough for me, that he was back “safe and sound”.  He asked me to look in the console of a car, and so I expected an Italian rabbit or a piece of jewelry-but the only thing in the console was a key.  I remarked, that Kelsey had left her key in the console and also that she kept her car very clean.  Tres said it wasn’t Kelseys’ key.  It took me a second or so to comprehend and I looked at him blankly.  He said “mom, that is your key” . . . and so I cried, right there in “broad daylight” on the rabbitpatch lawn.

The car I drive now, past fields and pastures, is twenty years old.  The ignition is a little tricky and the air conditioner quit working years ago.  I have never cared about cars, other than their safety and dependability.  I know what other folks drive by the size and color of the vehicle.  Quite often, I get in the wrong car in a parking lot because of that.  Once, I had a bagger put all of my groceries in a car that wasn’t mine.  I have wondered why my key didn’t fit, in someone elses’ ignition, then looked around and ran in horror.  Tres was able to “pull this surprise  off” easily.  Later Kelsey asked, didn’t I wonder, why they drove separately-no, I didn’t-and then she said didn’t you wonder whose car that was?-again no, I knew she had a small car.  She said “but mine is black!”. (this car is champagne colored).  So, you see,  what I know about cars.  A few moments later, it dawned on me and I asked excitedly -“Oh!-does it have air condition?”  They all laughed and said , yes.

The most endearing part of the story, is not the relief of now having a better car.  I had been wondering what I would do when my “silver car” gave out.  The fact that my children consider my needs, means the world to me.  Christian, was not even “in on the act” but he teared up in the happiness, as I did.  I have not raised perfect children.  The boys have run trucks in ditches in their youth,  they have all had “traffic tickets”  and stayed out too late, before-but I declare this whole-heartedly-They are good people for me, and for the planet.  They give to strangers in need, as well as their mama.  They care about the environment-and their mamas’ old house.  They care about animals, wild and tame.  They love and care for one another-and they care about the conditions of all humans.  Brant, will not buy a pair of shoes for himself, unless he can buy a pair for someone else in need, as well.  

There are many thoughts about “success”.  We all define it as we see fit.  We also define wealth-in many ways.  As life unfolds, we redefine and hopefully, weed out our former misconceptions.  We understand, more fully,  what pure and genuine happiness is.  The authenticity of life does not “hide” and we needn’t go on some dramatic treasure hunt to search for it.  Lifes’ treasure is not for only the few that have gotten their hands on some secret map, or an ancient “key”, they fought for.  I will tell you,  most likely, that our wealth is  found on  places like the front porch or in the back yard, as we have been told, after all.   Success gathers around kitchen tables and looks like family,  good friends, or neighbors.  Happiness is not reserved for yachts and country clubs, only, but may be in a summer garden or along the edge of the woods, as well. As it turns out. of all the things to acquire in life, “The greatest of these, is love.”