I live an amazing life, one full of treasures given in abundance from an open hand.This morning my husband walked down the road to our next door neighbours’ home where I work part-time as their Nanny/Housekeeper. Everyone was out, the parents off to work and the three kids delivered into the care of the bus driver for the next half hour, so Rolly just came into the house and yelled up the stairs to the laundry room, to remind me that I had a Doctor’s appointment booked that morning. I had remembered, but in trying to finish a few things up I was running a bit late.
He would normally call to tell me anything important but the phone was dead and awaiting repairs there, ever since the severe electrical storm we had this past week. Actually it was a series of storms, with no more than five-minute interludes of lessened intensity after each half hour or so, for six straight hours! There were lightning strikes so close and so frequent that they were almost ear drum shattering, furious winds, and rain coming down “in buckets” as the old timers say. We got four and 3/4 inches in six hours. I was sure glad at the time that I live on a hill!
All snug and warm inside the house, it made me think about what the little birds and animals must experience throughout such a deluge, and when we looked out into the back yard in the midst of the worst of it, during a series of overlapping brilliant flashes , there were our eleven white Muscovy ducks, huddled together— practically on top of one another! They looked like the top of a big white cumulus cloud strangely dropped down onto the green grass. Ducks do like rain; that’s a fact, but it is unlikely that they would have stayed out for this—especially the concluding five-minute hail storm— given the choice, and the ability to make more than a bird-brained decision. It was far too electrically charged outside for Rolly to even make an attempt at trying to lead them back to their shelter until after it was all over and the lightning subsided. Then they were so traumatized they just stood there, frozen in their tracks, (Too true! Their webbed feet were firmly planted amid the hailstones that had passed through their personally created duck-back cloud.) Afterwards, Rolly had to escort them one by one, like kindergarten students to the bus after their first day of school. They refused to move as a group as ducks normally do.
I like taking care of the details as I go along— enough to sometimes delay a bit in setting off for the doctor’s office, or getting to the point of a story (as I have just done yet again.) When, after a minute or two, I finished folding the last towel, and fluffing the last pillow, I came downstairs, to where Rolly was waiting to accompany me home. I locked up and headed out to the garage. “I have something to show you.” he said, holding loosely folded cupped hands out before him. And then slowly and ever so carefully he made a larger opening between his thumbs, like the doors of the tiny pretend churches we used to make with our childhood hands. There I saw the most amazing thing! A tiny buzzing humming-bird!
“Wait! Wait! I want to take a picture!” I said rummaging for my camera in my purse.
“Snap!” as he popped his tiny little head out. “Snap!” as Rolly opened his hands. “Snap!” catching nothing more than thin air. What an amazing thing! What a blessing!
This gift is just one of dozens of the sort that Rolly has given me over the years. Other women have husbands who give them fancy jewels cradled in velvet boxes for special occasions, things they have to put insurance on and keep in wooden chests and hide from thieves— my husband has given me some of those as well. But the gifts I love the most are those that are cradled in his rough and work worn hands—baby cotton tails rescued from the path of the lawn mower, cardinals that have temporarily knocked themselves out colliding with windows, baby birds that have fallen from their nests. These and many more have been presented to me and then carefully returned to nature. The only insurance required, is that I take care of the memories, and to take care of the memories I have to take care of me.
“Yes Honey, I’ll ask the Doctor to order the tests. Oh and by the way, isn’t it time you had a “man check-up” again?…I’ll make sure to tell him that you’re looking forward to it!