White Rabbit

I pull off a book from the shelf in my studio, looking for something to use in my new notebook project. It’s an old Sunset Vegetable Gardening book. At first I want to use it for collage.  I flip through and on the last page there is a sketch and a list of winter vegetables to plant: beets, brussel sprouts, carrots, lettuce, and spinach. I recognize the hand writing, it’s my mom’s.  I can’t use this. I think about the garden in “Jennifer’s Walk”, a book from my childhood I read to Jack and Fiona. The garden in “Jennifers Walk” always reminds me of the garden my mom planted in our back yard. Now I am looking at a sketch of her vegetable plot, the one imbedded in my memories. I remember walking outside with her, “Jenny, a rabbit ate my carrots”. I imagine a white rabbit. Every time I read Jack and Fiona “Jennifer’s walk” I think of the white rabbit. I am reminded of my mom, my life as a child. My body yearns to be that little girl, to feel that way. The way my body felt today when I opened the page and saw my mom’s writing. I take the books into Jack and Fiona’s room when they wake from their nap; “Vegetable Garden” and “Woodland Animals” another one of my childhood favorites. I tell them the story of the books, they watch me in earnest. Fiona doesn’t have her hearing aids on yet, but Jack hears every word. He doesn’t interrupt, he processes. I flip the pages, he sees a picture of a turtle, “I don’t like turtles, they bite” he says. I look at him and giggle, he smiles.

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About Jenny Hynes

I am a painter, housewife, and mother of twins