I took this photo the other day when we had a blast of cold winter weather.
It’s freezing thyme. Literally.
The thyme growing on my back deck was frozen. Outside, everything was frozen. The cold asphalt roads became thin sheets of ice. Grasses lining neighborhood streets were blanketed in white. Even desperate leaves on trees, clinging to brittle branches, bore coats of ice. Small icicles clung to the edges of play sets and roof lines. Streets were silent and there was an eerie absence of sound, as if all signs of life were nowhere to be found.
But inside our house it was a different story altogether. The kids were all home, relishing the early release from school and the excitement of a break in routine. We all feigned disappointment as activities and sporting events that rule our calendar were cancelled, one after the other. My mom came over to be with us too, bringing added joy that only grandmothers can. There was laughter and life, voices and song, all awash in the soft yellow glow of the warm fire. Card games were played, board games entertained, and Wii sporting tournaments began as playful challenges were made. I delivered cocoa and billowing bowls of popcorn to willing captives. Everyone was happy. It was a perfect afternoon.
And for a moment I stood still, slightly out of sight. I stopped to just watch them all. I crave these days when the worlds stops and we just get to be. Be with each other in the confines of our happy walls, the cold gray world seemingly so far away. I wanted to remember this moment – the kids, my mom, the happy spirit that surrounded all of us. I wanted yet again to do the impossible. I ached to freeze time. To keep things as they were just then. Everything in a quiet, unspoken harmony.
But ice melts and snow days pass. Garden thyme defrosts. And I am reminded once again that time cannot be frozen. Even on the coldest days when my heart is warmest.