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.
At this chaotic and fearful time, when things seem "up in the air" . . . spring came early, like an old friend showing up in the "nick of time." The lovely season may not cure all the woes of our world, but it certainly does no harm.
The weather here, has been delightful. The days have been mild and bright and beckon all to come and see. "The time of the singing of birds, has come."
I have a met a young cardinal that calls to me like clockwork, in the first hours. I whistle back in her language and though my attempts are feeble, she answers me every time. She sits in the same branch each morning and I declare one morning, as I was having coffee, I heard her chattering and went out to find her there on the cypress branch, as if she was waiting for me to say "good morning". I went out and after a brief conversation, she flew off . She is the friendliest bird I have ever known.
A pair of mockingbirds are building their nest in a young tree just beside the deck. They are as busy as can be. Yesterday the male carried a twig as big as he was, but he disappeared into the mass of leaves and appeared again without it. I supposed his mate approved it.
Besides the birds, now "Flowers appear on the earth."
Currently, here, we are all still permitted to take walks. One day, Jenny and I took the girls to the laughing river. Hardly ever, is anyone there save a dog walker passing through. For a while, we were the only ones in the world. Lyla has always been cautious of danger but Brynn is not tempered the same, and so we spent a good deal of time chasing her from the banks of that very blue river. We smelled jasmine on the way back and walked down the sidewalk where those dainty confederate violets covered the lawns.
St Patrick's day was a quiet affair, this year. The house was decorated and we had a corned beef and cabbage for supper. Lyla and I played some Irish fiddle music, but otherwise, the evening was quite tame.
One day, after a picnic, Brynn and I went for a walk. Lyla was playing with a dollhouse and was glad to have time alone so she could play properly, for Brynn is a "home wrecker" it seems. I walked a little further than usual, to see if the cherry trees were blooming. Rounding the curve, by the old bridge, there they were. The palest pink blossoms I know of, were a mass of floral beauty. I greeted two of them with open arms and lifted Brynn so she could smell their delicate, clean scent. I love cherry trees and told Brynn, that she ought to, as well. Of course, I began reciting "Lovliest of Trees"
(Housman). It has been a favorite of mine, since the first time I read it, which was a long time ago.
On another day, while Brynn napped, Lyla and I got a blanket and read "Charlottes' Web"
, in the greening grass of the back yard. It was a beautiful hour.
Tres is the only one that comes in the back door at Jennys' house.. Rest assured, that he, of all people takes strict precautions. Tres has a background in the medical field, after all and has the brain of a scientist . . . and -he is our own. None of us go anywhere-other than a grocery, and that is rare. The last time I went, I wore gloves and a smock that served as a lab coat. I stayed as clear of folks, as I could. Some folks are not so serious about going to such measures . . . I had rather be safe than sorry and most especially for my loved ones. . . and looking odd bothers me less now, than ever. Jenny and I treated the items as if they were contaminated. Afterwards, I sanitized the car.
This is a different time. I read and stay up on current findings. The tragedy in Italy, haunts me. A lot of the stories in the news is unsettling. Loss of loved ones is not a hoax. Shortages for supplies, isn't either. Casting blame, does not solve a thing. In light of the circumstances, I observe and proceed with caution. I pray a lot. I am concerned deeply, but I m not yet in a panic, driven by desperate thoughts, however, I am not so prideful as to think, it could never come to that, being I am so very human. For now, I must do what I can, I must be a serious student, and I must-AGAIN, "walk by faith, and not by sight."
Until further notice, I will watch the dogwoods go from little jade blossoms to snow white flowers. I will listen to the morning chatter of the birds and speak with the cardinal. I will let the sunshine fall on my face. I will wonder about many subjects and I will day dream as I please. I will do what I can, to cause no harm to myself and others. I will be thankful for the shelter of an old house and having my needs met. Mostly, I will be thankful for my Faith, for we are all going through this thing and we are none alone, whether we acknowledge it or not . . . but knowing, is of great comfort -