When Bentley and I take our morning walks down the road, we love to stop and watch my neighbor’s chickens. They remind me of being at my grandmother’s house when I was a kid. She lived out in the country on a farm over in Murphy, North Carolina. Then later as an adult, a lifetime ago, we had game chickens. They were beautiful, fun to watch, and the chicks so cute. We enjoyed the benefit of their eggs, but keeping them safe from foxes and hawks was tricky sometimes. There’s something so comforting about hearing chickens clucking, and a rooster crowing in the distance is one of my favorite sounds (along with a far-away, rather mournful-sounding train whistle). Bentley and I love the chickens in the early morning….they’re just waking up and coming out of their house to greet the day.
copyright (c) 2014 by Raindrop Ridge Press
Life is a little crazy and busy right now and getting busier by the second with my daughter’s wedding coming up soon, but it helps us to just focus on life’s simplicity sometimes and take a deep breath, like…..warm bread with homemade pear preserves, a jar of which was slipped quietly in my mailbox by my neighbor down the hill. The pears came from trees in her own yard. A bit of unexpected neighborliness wrapped up in nature’s sweetness. You know, Carl Sagan said, “It takes an entire Universe to make an apple pie.” Well, it takes an entire universe to make that jar of preserves, too. What a gift!
Copyright (c) 2010 by Raindrop Ridge Press
Usually when I think of rhythm and movement I think of dancing and music. But today I was reminded that it can be something more mundane, too. My front porch has been newly painted and stained and it looks really pretty. A lot of leaves had blown in on it, and today I was out sweeping the leaves off my looks-like-new blue and white porch. I remembered how when I was a little girl, visiting my grandmother’s house in Asheville, all the ladies in all the houses on her street would go out every morning (maybe not in winter but in spring, summer, and fall anyway) and sweep their porches. It was part of their daily ritual, kind of like fixing up their house to be welcoming and clean and neighborly for anyone who might drop in that day. The houses on that street are close together, so they could talk to each other, too, some related to each other, some just long-time friends. It was a close-knit and comfortable, happy neighborhood, and the daily rituals that went on around there made me feel secure (by the way those houses are in a neighborhood that has been newly revitalized and remodeled and are selling for over $400,000 – I wonder if their new tenants will ever experience that same sense of closeness that existed such a long time ago).
Sweeping my porch today made me feel connected to all those southern ladies in my grandma’s old neighborhood all those years ago. It’s so simple and at the same time so profound for me. Doing the same movements, feeling contented and happy simply being alive, part of the rhythms of everyday life, almost like a daily prayer or meditation to greet the morning and welcome it in along with any other visitors.
I really love it when I feel something so meaningful in everyday “ordinary” things and experience such a jolt of connection and warm memory with another time and other people. It’s funny the effects people have on other people, even many years later; you don’t always even know what those effects are. It gave me a good feeling.
Copyright (c) 2006 by Raindrop Ridge Press