Since childhood I always have knocked on wood, wished on falling stars, and said “rabbit” for good luck on the first day of each month. And if I make a New Year’s resolution, I rely on my monthly “rabbits” to reinforce my resolve to carry it out.
Two events in my seventh year converged to produce my reliance on this incantation.
The first I still consider my parents’ ultimate act of treachery, a betrayal so profound it kept me in later years from sampling coniglio in Rome or lapin a la cocotte in Paris, not to mention welsh rabbit in Wales, even though I know full well the latter is made with cheese, not Thumper. My perfidious parents, that spring Sunday in 1944, swore that Flopsy and Mopsy, my Easter gifts from a grandmother, had hopped away from their hutch to live happily ever after in Bunnyland. Then Mom served up supper, which included a platter heaped with oddly shaped objects that I’d never seen at our table before.
“It’s fried chicken,” Mama insisted, but that that unfortunate feast nearly turned me into a vegetarian.
The second event was more fortuitous. Shortly after our dining disaster, I read an English storybook where the heroine on the first morning of each month said “rabbit” for courage, stamina and plain good luck. I immediately adopted this routine as my own. I clearly remember regretting that it was too late to “rabbit wish” my beloved bunnies back from Hare Heaven. When I tried to get Mama to tell me if she thought that people actually ate rabbits, or even deer like Bambi, she swiftly averted her eyes and changed the subject.
Later, as an adult, I indoctrinated my son into the “rabbit” practice, and one or two friends, as well. That simple word gives me a bright fresh start each month, a new beginning. I look forward to the first of the month, just as others do to New Year’s Eve.
But my good luck charm doesn't seem to be working well this month. I'd rabbited hard on the first of March, mostly because I was sick of the winter. It started out pretty good...I've noted that the crocus have started to bloom now that the snow's melted in my front yard.
This week, though, since spring officially arrived, I've learned that one of my dearest friends has been diagnosed with cancer, and that another friend not only lost her husband a few months after I lost mine, but recently sustained severe injuries in an automobile accident.
Then today I learned that my toddler granddaughter, Kendra, has been hospitalized again in Casa Grande, AZ. She's had a runny nose, but apparently it lead to a sinus infection. She spiked a fever and had a febrile seizure...always scary even though they usually don't have bad outcomes. But my stepson wrote that he'd said "rabbit" the first of the month because he was looking for a streak of good luck...and didn't get it.
I'm hoping things look up soon for friends and family. I have my own ideas about how spring is supposed to be...and it isn't quite all this.