It is the first day of the month and, like every beginning of the month, the first words uttered in my waking moments were “white rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit”. I’m certainly not a superstitious person but this string of language is a long-standing family tradition. My great cousin Agnes, a delightful lady with a thick Scottish brogue, introduced me to this tradition when I was still in single digits. She was in her 80’s and she will be an influence in my life that I will never forget.
The idiom is meant to bring luck for the remaining days of the month but reciting that phrase gives me pause to remember cousin Agnes and the other family members and friends who are no longer with me. When my dad was still with us, my phone would ring in the wee hours on the first of the month and, before even saying hello, we would say our white rabbits on the phone together. Call display eventually helped to avoid the confusion of people on the other end of the phone if they happened to call before my dad. He was a very early riser and, as unlikely as that was, it happened once or twice and left a few bewildered callers wondering why I was shouting about albino bunnies.
Those simple words this morning were more important because today would have been my dad’s 77th birthday. Saying those words on the first of this month was like my phone call to Heaven and I could hear his voice in my head saying them back to me at the same time. Though the distance that separates us is immeasurable, he is still never far from my heart.
In those brief moments when darkness still envelops the morning I find a sense of peace in those words. Those two words, repeated three times in the haze of my waking moments, weave new threads into the blanket of my history. That phrase warms my heart with memories of people and places that have been etched into my past. That simple string of words uttered three times in a row will be with me paving the way into my future.
May the next thirty-one days be filled with good things for all of us.
Happy birthday Dad. xo