This morning began with cold water spilled onto my bare shoulder. The whole point of the straw was to avoid such messes and I’m not exactly sure what happened. What I am sure about is that this very long day was not meant to begin at 6am, the time my alarm was set for, but at 5.
I hadn’t even had a chance to turn on the light before Jack walked in. He didn’t turn off the overhead fan for me as he usually does to aid my slow-to-rise frontal lobe. He also didn’t retreat and close the door. Instead, as I lay there—sort of—trying to dry myself off in the dark, he stood silently. I could see in the dark that he held something to his chest, carefully, tenderly. I turned on the light, which, given my severe myopia, didn’t help much. But beyond my blurred view, behind his hands…was what looked like a rabbit. “Dear Lord,” I thought, “Did one of the dogs actually catch one of them?” and by “them” I meant one of those precious creatures that frequently grace Jack’s stories of his morning walks with the dogs. Glasses now on, I see it is no wild hare but a docile, floppy-eared bunny, a pet, and I ask, “Is that a rabbit?” As I fumble around for clothes and alertness, the story tumbles out of his mouth in short or incomplete sentences.
Short or incomplete, they were enough: I quickly put on PJ bottoms and sweatshirt, socks, slip-on shoes, and my sense of adventure because the sibling bunny is still out there, somewhere, alone and vulnerable in the dark, a darkness sometimes visited by coyote and owl or hawk. But just sometimes. This is suburbia after all.
First, though, we make a makeshift dwelling out of boxes and place a carrot inside for the soft grey mass now scrambling to be released from Jack’s grip, dogs jumping and whining at the novel stimuli of this already crazy morning. We take the bunny and box and carrot out to the patio, cover it and head out into the small lane and cul-de-sacs of our neighborhood, flashlights in hand. We are unsuccessful.
Empty-handed, we return and make a better dwelling for Al (he has a wild shock of hair sprouting up between his floppy ears) in an old dog crate, and then begin the process of posting found ads on Facebook and Petfinder.com. The dogs are cataplectic, their whining and pawing at us will not be redirected or assuaged by breakfast. But we humans try to settle into coffee and toast, nonetheless. It is amusing but it is not calm.
After 20 minutes or so, Jack gets ready for his day and leaves, wishing me luck in my efforts of finding the owners of the bunny. But he returns within a few minutes. He is not me so the chances of it being because he forgot something are slim. “The car just broke,” he says without affect, and thus begins stage two of this very long day.
The next half hour is spent arranging Triple-A, checking schedules to see who can stay home, who needs to take the remaining car, etc. etc. etc.
A plan is made.
A plan is executed.
Part II: No Rest for the Weary
Sometime between discovery of rabbit and discovery of broken car, I had done a quick search for the symbolism of rabbits. I was reminded of their connection to luck, fecundity, and, yes, the Trickster. At that point, I was hoping we’d been blessed with a gentle reminder of the blessings of abundance in the world, even in a world in upheaval.
Then the upheaval hit Jack’s car and now I’m preparing my heart for the Trickster twins, one now resting quietly in a cage on my kitchen table.
As the plan is executed, I rush to get ready, settle in for the next task, and attend to the expected knock at the door. The Triple-A guy, while friendly and efficient, had no mask on in this era of Covid19. “Really?” I thought. Really.
Yet my day had been easily rescheduled, and my writing group easily begins and continues, even through the Triple-A interruption, and even, I kid-you-not, through a power outage that just hit the neighborhood. The house is now perfectly still. The bunny sleeps. The dogs rest, though those ears could not be any higher on their heads. Their rest is not restful…
…Out in the world, the sibling bunny roams. Because Jack showed me the photo he snatched in the dark at 5am, I know it is a white rabbit with large reddish-orange splotches, a big one on its head. The one in the cage has grey hair and is calm. It readily became comfortable in our home, oddly so given our four curious dogs. It has already eaten 2 carrots, cleaned itself thoroughly, and stretched out its long back legs. “You are not home, little one,” I remind it as I try to trust that I am telling it the truth. You are not home free yet. And even if you were, your brother is not. I wonder: What mischief is he still getting into out in the world? Whose flowers is he munching as if they were his to destroy? Thoughtlessly? And with abandon?
The other day I prayed for the nation, this nation. I prayed the prayers of intercessors, demanding God get Godself back down here to take care of business, to keep covenant, even if it meant dealing with all us White people as we deserve to be dealt with, and not just the one with a reddish-orange splotch on its head, roaming a world in upheaval, munching flowerbeds not his own. I prayed God’s protection and God’s will alone to be done. It was then that I should have expected the Trickster.
It has been a very long day.
It is 9 a.m.
Let us not be fooled—
we’ve still a long way to go before this story is over.
Let us stop our whining but let us also keep our ears pricked
because this story,
as this day,
is not yet nearly