Mahogany Leaves | Eastern North Carolina Now

    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 did not matter one iota, that the time changed. Somehow, I managed to awaken at my usual hour. The wind was up early too. As the crescent moon faded, I saw there were more leaves in the yard, and felt sure, many of them would have turned all sorts of colors . . like ruby or amber. No doubt some would have been delightful shades of orange, but it was not their destiny . Along with the leaves, there were small branches littering the territory. I sat at the "morning table" under a warm blanket, with my coffee while Cash, my boxer and Christopher Robin, my cat, slept unhindered by a clock -or housekeeping.

    Those who read the "rabbitpatch diary" regularly, know I am not a fan of changing the clocks. I complain about it every spring. Clocks do not create more day light nor night time. It is as simple as that. Nature has its' own rhythm, and it has always worked out fine. I do not mind, that nights get longer this time of year, for the stars come out when they please, anyway - and no one is going to convince the moon nor the sun to change their ways, no matter what we call the hour. If it were up to me, everyone would be home by dark, "safe and sound", anyway, for I am that old now.

    I was out on the porch by the time the sun had climbed over the pines. I sent more spiders packing and swept wayward leaves back to the earth. I swept the sidewalk and the steps til finally, the broom was in shambles. I have had that broom for years and I chided myself for being reluctant to toss it. It had originally been the house broom, then it became the porch and barn, broom. I have certainly got my moneys' worth out of it -and it is just an old broom. How odd to be sentimental over a broom, I thought. Then I remembered that my grandmother was the same way over her broom -and my daddy has a garden hoe, that he used as a child! So, I decided we are just an "odd lot", altogether.

    When the porch was in order, I began picking up branches from the yard. One still, dry evening, we will burn the garden. Kyle loves this ritual and so I hope to do it when he can come. Kyle has taken up residence with a friend, that lives closer to his work. He calls everyday and never fails to ask, what we are having for supper.

    I had several piles of branches, collected, and so I decided to go inside to clean the laundry room. It stays orderly, but it was dusty. There was a nightmare behind the dryer. There were cobwebs and thick dust and lint. I cleaned the windowsills and put a fresh coat of paint on the cabinet.

    We did not have a Sunday dinner. Mama and Daddy couldn't come, so Christian and I had more soup from the day before. I plan to make up for it on Tuesday. Mama has an appointment and a meeting, so I will cook at her house, so she can eat in between the two -and I will spend the night there. Brant and Christian are coming, after they finish some work at the rabbitpatch. Tuesday will be an occasion.

    On Monday, I awakened to the sound of a steady , morning rain falling. It was still dark, and so these were the perfect conditions, to linger under my favorite blanket. Most days, I spring out of bed, but on rainy mornings, I like to lay a while and listen to the rhythm of the watery lullaby. . .for that is exactly what it sounds like to me. Of course, I could not take a bit of liberty, this day, for it was Monday, after all.

    Cash, my dog was up and prancing about. This acts on me better than any alarm clock, for I fear the worst should I waste a moment. We went to the door at a good pace, with him whining in sheer agony. I opened the door to the wet morning . Cash stood there like a statue for a few seconds and then sauntered back to his bed. Apparently, the crisis had been averted, at the sight of the rain. I made coffee and sat by the "morning table" to gather my thoughts".

    I noticed that the sycamores were a solid mass of a warm russet color. It is November certainly, though I can scarce comprehend how. There were more leaves in the yard today, than there were yesterday. The rain tapped on the leaves, as it fell. Ever so often a huge acorn would make a loud thud on the roof. This was a day in Autumn- the kind of day, I am familiar with, in months like November - the kind of day that I love, for the world is lovely when a silver rain falls, and mahogany leaves fall tenderly to the earth.
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