The new house offers surprises. It wasn’t keeping secrets, exactly, only biding its time. We came together in winter and were both tentative about our new arrangement. As the weather has gotten warmer I’ve discovered that the yard is composed almost entirely of clover and dandelions. The rabbits who live under the monstrous yews bordering the porch have no complaints. They are so entrenched and proprietary that we imagine it is something of a rent-controlled co-op with burrows passed down from generation to generation.
“They don’t even move when I walk out the door,” said the oldest.
And it’s true. Even the slam of the screen does not cause them to flinch. They sit all four paws on the ground, nearly always in profile, chewing quickly, and watch us each through one large, brown eye like chocolate rabbits on a shelf at the Dime Store at Easter.
But with the clover and dandelions there is a dot and dash of a hosta border, a few hydrangea and peonies. The first bloomed last week, offering up the deep, dark pink that I like the least. A tease. Then yesterday, white and blush burst, too. I clipped them this morning as the clouds moved in, afraid that a serious rain would leave the petals scattered on the ground. One of the boys has done something with the kitchen shears – “It wasn’t me!” – and I had to sever them from the bushes with a long sharp knife. Greedy, I took everything that was fully open. The plants are not as established as the first hedge that I inherited. Their stems not as sturdy. Their blooms not as dense. But their scent is strong and sweet. And they are here. And I am here. And we are happy to discover our delight in one another.