A Time to Dance | Beaufort County Now

Things have not settled down at the rabbitpatch, since Sunday. Rabbit Patch
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A Time to Dance

    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.

    Things have not settled down at the rabbitpatch, since Sunday. I get daily reports about Ryans' first days, and so does Jenny. Even Tres, who does not like to chat on the phone, has put that aside to know the latest details about his nephew. We want to know everything . I know that just today, Ryan did not cry when his diaper was changed. I am glad of that too, for Brant says "it hurts his heart, when Ryan cries."! I know that Ryan napped for two hours this afternoon - and on and on we go with such minute details, to just make it til the weekend.

    Pictures are sent back an forth that just prove our ravings about Ryans' beauty are well grounded. . .and plans are going back and forth too. Will, Jenny, the girls, Tres and I are all going for a short holiday on Saturday. so we are planning meals and travel arrangements. It really is hard to think of much else . . . unless you count my back. What a damper that puts on things!

    My director, has been very accommodating, allowing me to go in a bit later and leave when I can. I am using a cane, too. That helps tremendously, but goodness, I am moving as slowly as "molasses in January"! Of course, all that matters to me, is being able to hold Ryan. I also worry, that Lyla, may fret that her Honeybee, is any distress, for she has a compassionate heart. Brynn will not flinch as she is on a constant mission, to know every detail of her world. She does not consider anything "out of reach" nor "out of range", so she is busy.

    The mosquitoes have made life fairly miserable, as of lately. I am not exaggerating when I say that dozens of them lie in wait to ambush anyone who opens the back door. I have no mercy on them, for I am swatting like a mad woman hobbling, on the way to the car. On Wednesday, cooler air came in. How delightful that was and I do hope it thins out those awful mosquitoes. This is part of the aftermath of a hurricane.

    Each day turned into the next one, til at last it was Friday-the eve of the "holiday" . . . the day before, we meet Ryan. . . the day that I will see my son, as a father, for the first time. I will see Lyla meet her "baby brother cousin" as she calls him. . . and what will Brynn think to see someone smaller than her? How beautiful it is to consider all of this.

    Since I have five children, I have spent the most of my life raising them. One by one, they grew up, til at last, it is down to me and Christian. For years, I mourned this. The laundry was always caught up and suppers got smaller, which made the table seem bigger. Evenings got quiet and mornings lacked any commotion. I no longer needed to rush, when I was out nor call to make sure things were going smoothly, at home. Grass grew up at the basketball goal. I cried for years at the silent house. I did not relish the freedom of a nest that did not need tending. Many of my friends were in the same predicament and were thrilled, mostly, with this new liberty. They took trips and joined clubs, but I lived for visits from the children and wouldn't plan a thing . . . just in case.

    Finally, the dust settled and I made some sort of peace with my circumstances. I planted flowers and more fruit trees. I tended a garden and preserved the food. My pantry was always full. I raised rabbits, chickens and miniature goats. I read a lot. Then Lyla was born . . . and things changed again. Since you cannot tend to a farm, and "run the roads, too" . . . I let the garden grow up and found homes for the animals.

    Looking back, at those years, "before grandchildren", I realise it was a time of personal growth. I had never had any real time to focus on myself, nor to deeply reflect on my own truth. Working with the soil in the garden, was healing. The garden became my friend and faithfully kept my secrets. It is a lot of work to keep a garden tidy, and I found the same could be said of a pure heart. The heart needs constant attention, so it too does not become filled with "bad seeds". There was always a rabbit out, to worry about and the goats ate my flowers on occasion. I found out that a Shepherd, will worry about the lost and forgive the wicked, as it is written. I also found out, that one can be happy, in all sorts of circumstances, too. That season was time well spent, in spite of my reluctance to be there.

    Now, here I am, years later, in a new season. It may be my "time to dance" season. . . . It sure feels like it. Sometimes I feel like I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth.


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