The Hillhouse

The Journey of a Mother and Son

Spring Morning March 23, 2012

Nothing to report, aside from the fact that I can seem to get nothing done right now. It is a lovely Spring morning, a gentle breeze moves through the house and the roosters crow from far-off corners of the property. I have now three day’s worth of dirty dishes sitting in the sink as well as taking up all of my modest counter space, and I am acutely aware that I have not yet washed them. However I cannot make myself move. Usually I set to work as soon as Elihu is off to school. I don’t stop working until order is restored. But today, I just cannot summon the inspiration. I sit here, in my comfy bedroom chair, doing absolutely nothing. Just feeling the cool, fresh breeze and enjoying the distant sounds of my wandering flock.

My son and I had a morning of laughter and silliness, improvised poems and songs. We walked the expanse of our future garden, assessing our plans, marking off a small plot by placing a rock in the dirt to mark each corner. A neighbor from down the road (the grandson of the man who’d built our house and first tilled the garden here forty years ago) had recommended we start small. Last fall we had plowed a huge swath to prevent brambles from gaining a foothold on the old garden – a good hundred feet long by twenty five feet wide – and knew this was too much for us to manage. This morning, Elihu and I decided what we could manage.

We realize that we need to be headed back up the hill soon. Our morning had been leisurely, and this meant I’d have to drive him to school. We are lucky; his school is just two miles down the road and we can be there in less than five minutes. I start the car, but then Elihu brings a hen to my window. I roll it down and smooch the hen he calls Shirley Nelson. She is an Araucana and has sprays of feathers just under her eyes which remind me of the sideburns on a gentleman in an ancient sepiatone photograph. She is the one who lays the slender, pale green eggs. We coo to our little hen, thank her for being who she is, then he gently places her down and gets into the car. We set off down the long driveway, the car bouncing over the deep ruts and holes the winter has left behind.

Coming up over the crest of cemetery hill, I can see the forest tops spread out before me, and I see the buds beginning to color the trees – I see distinct patches of yellow, pale orange, dark purple. Spring is coming a little early. I don’t care, I’m so happy to see it again. Such renewal – such a refreshing of the spirit comes with this season. I cannot imagine how one can become rejuvenated without the benefit of such a change of season. What is it to live in Florida? Or California? Or any of those other places in which there is so little change of seasons? What they are missing! Oh, this feeling of hope and anticipation that comes to life with the first scents of Spring! If it weren’t for the snow that fell only weeks ago – how could I possibly come to appreciate this lovely new climate as I do? Elihu and I are in a fine mood today. A Spring mood.

As I drop him off, he says “Goodbye, Mommy, I love you” and my heart is full, full, full. I treasure this moment in our lives, when he is young, when he is close by, when Spring is just returning. The dishes can wait, this fine Spring moment can’t.

 

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