Champagne and Redbirds | Eastern North Carolina Now

The first day of the New Year is a cold and rainy event in Elizabeth City. The little town is quiet this morning-as far as I know, I could be the only one awake from the looks around.

    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.

    The first day of the New Year is a cold and rainy event in Elizabeth City. The little town is quiet this morning-as far as I know, I could be the only one awake from the looks around. Street lamps may burn all day today.

    Will and Jenny attended a fancy affair last night. They came home not long after the sound of fireworks proclaimed the new year. Lyla had been asleep a while and I was on the third series of Downton Abbey when the sky "cracked and snapped"- and light cascaded down in all sorts of hues.

    I do not ponder "resolutions". As it turns out, I often do poorly at keeping them and then there is a sense of failure and shame that I ate cookies within two weeks or cut my own hair in January. I do not wander about aimlessly, however. Instead, I self reflect, about daily. I do think about things that I would like to happen-but I am older now and realise that the most wonderful things I have ever known, were not my own plans. In light of this, I just expect things to work out-or pass. Living with an open heart is far from reckless behavior but in fact, takes a lot of self-discipline-and courage too, at first. I do not think it is irresponsible to practice our best behavior and expect the best.

    I have found that I need less "things" than I used to. "Time is better than money" rings true for me. I would as soon watch a redbird in a young peach tree than most things. I would rather cook a pot of beans for my sons and talk while they simmer, than eat "high on the hog" because I worked a second job. Strolling with Lyla is a better way to get around, than driving a new car-for me. When it gets down to it-a cold glass of water is desired above champagne, when you work in a garden.

    Of course, I am expecting to live abundantly in the new year. I am waiting for blessings " beyond my wildest expectations" to unfold quite naturally . What I do while I wait, will make all the difference.

    Already, the new year has been kind to me. Christopher Robin is home safe and sound! He sashayed across the rabbit patch like he had been away watching blue jays quarrel for an hour. He was hungry, but showed no signs of wear and tear, otherwise. I thought of all the prayers that had been lifted on behalf of this cat. Words of comfort and well wishes flooded in -and I felt humbled by it.

    There is a lot of beauty in this world. Whatever we look for in the new year, we are going to find, or so it often seems. From the bottom of my heart, I wish everyone abundance, peace and love - and "The Greatest of these is Love."
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