I am back, now two days, from my monumental first trip back to the US without kids, in years. It was all to be with my Grandpa, and it was obviously, phenomenally, worth it.
It was a perfect freezing, though the two and a half weeks were surprisingly mild. Only the last day held snow, but just a light dusting. When I saw what was falling, I ran out and found many itty teeny stars just like this.
Now I’m no snow expert, but I didn’t know they came in tiny fractals, perfect snowflake specimens! They were flakes begging for the trifold science boards and black construction paper, as if I could have glued them like sticky spider webbing. In my head, though, they last.
I balanced one flake on my pinky nail and I wanted to run in to show my mom, but it melted at such a rate. That is why there are pictures. And memories stuck on the boards of our brain. My sweet time is hopelessly, perfectly stuck and frozen in time and space.
I know the smell of my Grandpa’s cologned cheek, have the laugh and smooth hug of my Grandmother, so happy to see me as soon as she wakes. I’ve got my Grandpa wrapped by the fire, his shoulders covered in the inky blue textured throw.
Every salad, every place setting. I loved helping. Simply knowing where each dish goes. I baked bread in my Grandpa’s loaf pans, carried up bottles and bottles of wine and Champagne. Every morning was glorious and each evening, a sturdy ball.
It is the frozen conglomeration of each moment, stuck in the flake, though, on the morning of the single snowy day, that makes it easy to take all the moments with me. Snow accumulates, you see. It clumps. Inside on my boots, inside the lining of my pockets when I shove my hands inside. It seeps into bone and breath and inside the gallery of my phone and now with me in Tokyo, where I am breathlessly over oceans, home.