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.
I have been in an official routine since Monday . . . and I have lived to tell about it! I could not even sleep on Sunday night, for I was convinced I would never make it to work on time and doubted I would survive a four hour meeting, right off the bat. I never do any one thing for four hours! . . . I was at work, bright and early.
I came home and started supper and laundry. I laid my clothes out for the next day and made a batch of "summer oats". I must adhere to these practices for I can not put a single thought together in the morning. I rise several hours early, so I can perform my duties, with some degree of sanity, on account of that.
It is hot outside. For days, now a wilting heat has plagued the countryside. In the evenings, a haze covers the fields in a mysterious way and hushes everything. Now, the "morning glory" vines bloom. Like every other vine, the morning glory grows rapidly and anywhere it pleases. It is one of the few vines, that I love. Besides being tender and thornless, the vine bears bright true blue blossoms. A lot of folks do not share my affection for the morning glory. It is likely, that since they grow in ditches and clamber up every fence post, the vines are considered too common to appreciate, which is a shame, for they are a cheerful lot and what fun to ramble the territory and come upon something so sweet, that you did not have a hand in.
The loosestrife blooms too. Like the morning glory, it is not beloved by many. The lavender spike flowers do not bloom til August, which is what Mama holds against it. I laugh every year, when the loosestrife blooms, remembering Mama saying, as she was pulling them up, that they "take too long to bloom". I have several places at the rabbitpatch where the loosestrife bears its' pale lavender flowers . . . always in late August.
The ginger lilies are some of my favorites. The flowers themselves are unimpressive - and usually sparse, but their fragrance is extraordinary. I am very partial to fragrant blossoms. A single flower of the ginger lily will make you stop in your tracks, to drink in the sweet air. Ginger lilies are hard to find and they are pricey. They are also dependable perennials, that bloom in August. I am sure we did not buy bacon, the week I bought the ginger lilies, but I have never regretted it.
I realise, that I hold a grudge against clocks and papers announcing the time and date of what I have to do. Their proclamations of "Be here" and "pay this" are but cold demands. . .but nature declares the time, softly and tenderly, like a loving mother. If I were in charge of such things, I would say things like "The sweetest month of May is here, and on the fifteenth, when the honeysuckle blooms, your bill is due." Or, "school starts in August, when the loosestrife approaches its' peak." Or "The sun is slipping and shadows are falling, it is time to go home, now" At least, I can practice this way, for myself . . for I leave for work, "when the sun is almost over the pines".
It is odd to think I have been on a "school schedule" for most of my life. I remember graduating from high school and feeling so free of that schedule. When school started the next year, I was elated that I would not be facing that familiar routine. I got a good job working for an orthodontist, and did not go to work til nine. I had Wednesday mornings and Friday afternoons off. Oh! I was so very grown. I married a few years later and stayed home with the children as they came along. Those were golden years. I have been teaching music for twenty years now at the school. I worked at another school and also taught violin, prior to this particular school) I am back on that schedule again. . .and now I am thankful for it, for I am that grown. Now, I wonder how any one works through the summer.
The sweet couple that came to see the rabbitpatch, did not decide to buy it. In this circumstance, I am taking some time to breathe. The "remnants of a former farm", that I call the rabbitpatch is still for sale, but I have not advertised it. I have some decisions to make -and they are not as simple as whether to have biscuits or corn bread for supper. These are decisions that will alter my course . . .and frankly, I need to pray. At least, the peace of it all remains steadfast and as constant as the North Star.
Besides, school starting and decisions to make about the rabbitpatch, something far grander occupies my thoughts. Within the month, my first grandson will be born. He is actually expected right around Brynns' first birthday. Brant is as nervous and excited as any one I have ever seen. He simply can not be still, for he always thinks of something that is necessary and should be done immediately . . .or else, the baby will surely suffer, in some way. Sydney, on the other hand, is as calm and collected as she can be. Instead of fretting, she quietly and efficiently completes her tasks. She does not worry about what size winter boots, her little son will need when he is a year old , as Brant does. Thank Goodness, Sydney has a gentle nature to "balance the act"!
I suppose, I can not chide Brant too much, for Sydney called today and I uttered "Yes? What! I mean hello, are you ok?" I was senseless, and Sydney laughed, as I tried to recover, feebly. Sydney says her own mother did the same thing recently. So that is where we are. . . We are all "in a state" as my elders used to say. How can it be, otherwise? We are all well "over the moon", after all. . . and that is one Holy place.