Publisher's note: Please join me in welcoming Author Michele Rhem, who presents us with her poignant memoirs of the Rabbit Patch, where her diaries weave tales of a simpler, expressive life lost to many, but gathered together in her most familiar environs - the Rabbit Patch.
It is said that "time flies when you are having fun." I think it does. I also think, it flies, when you're busy. Now, at the rabbit patch, the wild honeysuckle blooms and is evident in the sweet evening air. The "Quiet Garden" is shades of pink. Rabbits are out in the broad daylight and there is the friendly presence of fireflies , twinkling in the whispering pines, at night. The rabbit patch is in its' glory in the spring.
On Friday, we had the end of the year program at school. . On Saturday, I began tending the territory. I really dreaded getting started. I spent a good deal of time gathering fallen branches and had several little fires burning by late morning. It does not sound like such a travesty to spend a few hours collecting branches-unless you consider fire ants and poison vines. Little trees were coming up in all the wrong places and so I mustered the fortitude, to do battle with them. Eventually, I started mowing and thankfully, that was an uneventful affair.
Each day, after school, I continued my quest to improve the rabbit patch. Small fires burned in the garden steadily. I disturbed a fair share of spiders in the barns and I tackled poison vines Supper was late most every night and laundry was done at odd hours. But good progress was made and at long last, geraniums fill the once barren pots.
Tending this rabbit patch is not for the faint of heart, but it is a love story, none-the-less. There is enough charm here to produce a poet in the least likely of us. . . especially now, when the "Mothers' day" rose spills over the fence, and into the tender green grass.
The rabbit patch does not allow things like resentment and selfishness, nor pride to abide in the hearts of man, either. Simply put, " It is good for what ails you." I can not quarrel in the presence of an old oak, nor complain when the peach trees are laden with young fruit.
The foxgloves are blooming now along side one of the barns . They are a cheerful sight, with their lavender bells. Beyond the foxglove is a little pasture and then a grove of pecan trees. There are two grapevines and two apple trees. There is also a pear tree, and several white peach trees. Some doves are nesting in a grapevine. I love the cooing of content doves, but detest the way they act when startled. They sit "quiet as a church mouse" completely hidden from view. Right about the time you are near to them, and quite unsuspecting, they take off with flapping wings and a high pitched cackling. The big production they make is quite startling and will shatter the peace of a leisure stroll.
It seems, there has been one thing after another for a good while. It started a few weeks ago, with some loved ones having all sorts of problems-then there was the big program at school and of course Mothers' Day. The spring clean up of the territory took a toll . . and now suddenly we are past mid May. I have always thought that time was sly, and now I say with full confidence . . it is!
Quite soon, I will have lived on the rabbit patch for a dozen years. It has been nothing short of a love affair. This old house and sprawling land has made me different, than I was, before our acquaintance. I have worked harder than I thought I ever could. I have learned what my authentic joys are . . .and somehow my truth was made clearer to me. Still, I remain steadfast on my decision to sell it. I do not fear the journey from it, nor am I anxious about when it will happen. It has taken me years to come to such a conclusion but I do know that my time here was well spent.
Until then, I will water the geraniums and mow the pasture. I will wage war with vines covered in thorns and I will walk by the old grapevine where the doves abide. I may write another verse on an old barn, too. . . I am sure I will buy more paint . . . all for the love of a rabbit patch.