The sky threatened rain all Thursday, Friday, and today, but it didn’t come. A gray sky and a humid breeze carried a warm hope that the seeds I planted Thursday would get some water. I got the garden planted from top to bottom and side to side. We have onions, carrots, potatoes, corn, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, cabbage, lettuce, sunflowers, and tomatoes in the ground and sprouting. I took walks with the girls, watched them play in the sandbox, read them stories.
The warm seasons are bittersweet for us. Bittersweet, as a word, has become cliche, but appropriate here. With a break from the cold and a promise of days spent in warmth and light, also comes a fact of life. Daddy will often be on the road. This is the season for artists and musicians to share their talents with the public. To bring forth the work of the winter like the trees bring forth their fresh leaves. As the leaves filter the sun and feed the trees, so the festivals, shows, and opportunities allow us to make a living. This weekend was one of those.
John is traveling for music this weekend. After Ivy was born, I stopped trying to go with him on the long overnight trips. Taking both of the girls was a bit much as we often slept in the truck or camped. The heat can get miserable, and being confined to a booth much of the time is no fun for little ones. We notice when Daddy is not with us. Deladis makes it known when she is ready for him to come home.
He came home last night on his way back from Roanoke, Virginia and on through to Morehead, Kentucky where he is recording with Brett Ratliff and The Blind Tiger Band. He had the band with him and Deladis braved a walk alone to be with her daddy on George Gibson’s front porch and hear the band play. I was cooking spicy stuffed cabbage for our guests, and thought it would be good for her to try the short walk on her own. It is funny what missing someone bad enough will allow us to do. It was her first time going it alone.
She sat with them last night as they played in the kitchen after supper, playing some on her little banjo. She sat there until she was bone tired, falling out of her chair with sleep, her head slumping into her daddy’s lap. Then, this morning, we ate oats and waved bye-bye as John and Brett set out again.
I’m looking forward to our upcoming trip to New Echota, Georgia and Dayton, Tenneesee (Walden’s Ridge) to research for my novel based on the life of Arizona Webb Walker my Cherokee great-great grandmother. I want to spend some time – just us, not trying to get ready to work, working, or thinking about work. I want to enjoy the warmth for awhile before it gets so hot we can’t breathe. I want to walk with my man and watch our girls enjoy the outdoors. To be filled with the light the Creator blesses us with each spring. There will be some time for that on our trip.
The wild blackberry bushes have bloomed like they tend to do when Mother Nature can’t decide whether it should be chilly or warm. I wanted to show John, and encourage him to remind us to take time to nuture the bushes and pick the berries at the first signs of ripeness. I’ll try to make blackberry dumplings this season.
Today the sky still can’t decide what it wants to do. Our seeds wait in the ground, covered and warm, to be soaked with the sprouting rain. Today, we are waiting for daddy to come home. We’ll take a rest in his warm arms until the time comes for us to miss him again.