We have an afternoon with no rain and Ishmael and I have decided to walk the meadow. We left the manor and turned left toward the main gate, snuggling into our coats against the cold winter winds. We followed the main drive up to the Golly Orchard, admiring the fruits hanging from the trees and the lush vegetable patches. All year round this magical garden blooms and produces! Before we reached the end of the orchard, we left the main drive and turned onto the upper meadow. The main drive is hard packed earth with some gravel on top which is fine for rolling things but not so great for walking so I was glad to be back on the meadow's semi-dormant grasses. The ground was wet but Ishmael and I both wore these fabulous rubber coverings for our shoes that we got in mythical Gresham so our feet were just fine. I smiled at the meadow's expanse opening before us and breathed deeply of her brisk moisture laden air. Raindrops glistened in the barren trees like diamonds and the Goodable herd in the distance was flashing rainbow colors although that was not necessarily a good thing.
As we walked, I could see Jack Ass a ways ahead. He spends most his days up here in the upper meadow, keeping it trim and neat while watching over the Goodable herd. I was impressed that he had come out on such a brisk and wet day, but I knew this was his favorite place.
“Hey Jack!” I called out as we approached.
He'd been munching on the grass and looked up, “Oh, hey Lillow! Hey Ishmael! How ya guys doing?”
“We're good Jack. Just out for a stroll now as the rain's let up.” I answered.
“Rain?” He looked around with a surprised expression. Goodness, I think he's been around Lorna too long.
“Been raining all night and most the morning Jack,” Ishmael said.
“Zatso? Well, I'll be darned. Rainin' here too?”
“Well ain't that somethin'.” He looked around, “Yeah I see it now. Wet.”
I was curious, “So Jack, how is it that you didn't know about the rain? I mean it's been raining pretty steady for quite a while. Kind of hard to miss.”
Jack tilted his head oddly and said, “Gee whiz.” Right away I thought I knew what had happened. Jack must have stepped in some jeewizium and been transported to another dimension. I looked at the Goodable herd and it seemed that the rainbow bubbles were diminishing. There's always tension when someone travels across dimensions using jeewizium until they actually say, Gee whiz.
“Okay Jack, were've you been?” I asked.
He looked at me with surprise, “Why I was just over there.” He pointed with his nose then began walking toward a small grove of trees. We followed cautiously with me looking every direction for jeewizium, since I was the only one of us who could see it. Jack trundled on while Ishmael followed closely in my tracks. Then we rounded a corner, squeezing between the tight knit trees into a hidden grove and were suddenly in bright sunshine. I looked around in total confusion. I hadn't seen any sign of jeewizium! I looked at Ishmael who was taking his winter coat off with a big grin.
“This is nice Lillow,” he said, glancing at me.
“Yeah, yeah,” I answered, unnerved at the situation. Everywhere I looked in this little grove it was mid-summer, while outside, I parted some branches, yep, while outside it was cold and wet. Nothing made sense. How could . . . how could . . . I was beginning to spin and I stopped and looked at Ishmael and Jack. Ishmael was lying, stretched out on the grass with his eyes closed and his hands behind his head, wearing a contented grin.
Jack was lying nearby munching on some grass and watching me. “Been here all morning Lillow,” he drawled. “Weren't no rain here at all.”
I could see the truth of that. While verdant and lush with flowers, the place was dry. I went over to the closely knit trees that made up the grove's wall and parted the branches again. Sure enough, dark, wet and cold. I unfastened my jacket as I was getting too warm with it on. Okay, something was going on here. I mean I don't think dimensions overlap like this, pretty sure. Could this be a dimensional anomaly right here in our own upper meadow? Jeez, what're the odds of that happening? I glanced over at Ishmael who was laughing at something Jack had said. An Ape, an Ass and a Fæirie girl basking in the warm summer sun in a verdant grove on a cold, wet winter day. I'd say there were way better odds of that not happening! My head was spinning. Why was I having trouble with this? Jack hadn't been in another dimension; he'd been right here. So where is here? Without realizing it I had begun pacing. Ishmael and Jack were both sitting up now and watching me.
“You seem troubled Lillow,” Ishmael said.
I stopped, realizing I was spinning out of control. “Gosh Ishmael. It's just that I've never seen or heard of anything like this before. Have you been here before today Jack?”
“Not too much, Lillow. Most days I can't find it, but it was here today.” He smiled dreamily. “Really glad of it too, after seeing how dreary it is outside.”
“We are outside!” I said, looking around the grove. Jack looked surprised and I could see Ishmael scratching his head and peering around. I went over and sat beside them. I needed to think.
This little grove was so sweet that we all became dreamy as we sat there. Soon I saw flower petals falling from above, but there were no flowers growing overhead. I saw a beautiful Rabbit walking toward us in a kind of cloud. I felt peaceful, loving and grateful watching her. With a smile she sat with us, her eyes radiating pure love, her essence exuding goodness and joy. I smiled at her, then smiled at Ishmael and Jack who were both grinning wide. I think we were on the edge of bursting into laughter when she spoke.
“I am so happy to be here with you,” she said, bowing her head in reverence.
“I'm happy too,” I said as Ishmael and Jack murmured concurrences. “Is this your place?” I asked gesturing at the surrounding grove.
“It is always my place,” she answered with a smile.
“Wow, I've never noticed it before,” I said. I was deeply impressed. She had some major magic going on here.
“I've only recently begun visiting here,” she answered, then looking at Jack. “I've met you before noble one.”
Jack seemed flustered as he nodded agreement. “Yep, I remember. We sang,” he answered with dreamy eyes.
“We sang,” she repeated, smiling as if thoroughly enjoying the memory.
After a few moments I asked, “What is your name?”
Her long ears stood straight up, “Why I'm Reesha, Lillow. Reesha Rabbit. The other Rabbits have spoken well of you and I must say, I am thrilled to meet you!” Then she looked at Ishmael and her smile got wider, “And you my charming prince are Ishmael, Keeper of the Light. I am honored by your presence.” She bowed her head. When she looked up, she looked at Jack with shining eyes and started laughing, “And Jack and I have sung, oh how we have sung, his thunderous braying echoing off the clouds!” Ishmael chuckled and Jack snorted. I felt a joyful peace and love. So much love!
Reesha began softly singing and we joined in though we didn't know the words. I sang whatever came to mind and was pleasantly surprised to find I was singing along with her. We all sang, the words somehow appearing in a melody that was as comfortable and familiar as anything I'd ever sang, even though I'd never heard it before. Not that I could remember anyway. As we sang, I realized we were singing praises and gratitude for the rain! Imagine. Then we sat in companionable silence, peaceful in the lulling warm breezes while lounging in the lush green grass. I'm afraid I fell asleep because I was awakened by a splash of cold water on my forehead. I opened my eyes to an overcast and dreary day that was beginning to rain. Another raindrop splashed off my head as I shook Jack and Ishmael awake. The little grove was again just another grove in the meadow, wearing the meadow's winter colors. Ishmael grabbed his coat and quickly put it on while I fastened mine against the cold then we ran for Holly's Palatial Estate and arrived just before another beautiful downpour began. What marvelous luck!