I traded staying at home with one restless hunter-beagle to stay with several Grands in the glorious sunshine of autumn. Barely out of the car, I was given a swatch of cloth for my pocket, a flowing black cape and beret with a feather.
“Be sure you tip it to the side, Grandma,” said one who knows.
Today after schoolwork and lunch were done, we headed out for a walk. The youngest wants to change her dress for another occasion—going outside. One of the older ones rakes leaves, and a whole trail of half-grown kittens and their mothers follow us everywhere we go.
The leaves crunch and crinkle under my boots. Some Grands are in the small orchard where they have a project going on. Grands yell and now and then a scream, but not to worry. It’s the joy of the day.
Down the drive by the barn are some snorting pigs, baby chicks and the end of summer’s garden. It’s all hard work, taking care of a farm, several gardens, and a passel of children. And there are days when you’re spent from all of it.
Still, there is a deep satisfaction, an ancient reminder from the ages…when the first man and woman tended a new and splendid garden in the very beginning. It was lush and easy to manage with over abundance for man and animals shared together.
It was a garden with no thistles or stinging nettle; no ticks or plant rot. Death was not known in this place, only harmony.
Peace reigned in that old world for a while.
Walking back to the house I spied Chinese lanterns scattered out front, and kittens still underfoot. But there is still something of the peace that we know deep in our hearts; a reminder of what was once ours…and in time…will be again.