I raise the blinds as I do every morning when I notice the entire yard is hung with crystals. Every branch, leaf, and blade of grass is coated in sparkly points of light. A hard freeze isn’t uncommon. But enough moisture for icicles is.
I pull on a sweater, scarf and coat and knot my tangled hair on top of my head. I pull rain boots on my feet that stop halfway up my pajama pants. My neighbors have seen me in pajama pants before. I decide not to worry about it. I grab my camera and shut the screen door so Isobel can see see and hear me. Absorbed in her game of tea all morning, I figured she wouldn’t miss me, but as soon as I step into the flower bed she starts to whine.
“Do you want to come outside with Mommy?”
More whining. A nod yes.
“It’s really cold. Are you sure?”
“I want to go outside with Mommy.”
I hurry back in. Already the morning is warming up. I have only a few minutes before the frozen diamonds melt and turn the ground to mud. Isobel is still in her pajamas, too, but I throw on some rain boots, a sweater and a coat before grabbing her hand to lead her outside.
“My pink purse!” she cries. We can’t forget that.
We step outside and I show her the icicles. The frozen grass crunches under our feet. We explore the flower bed and find unexpected bit of ice that sparkle like shards of glass scattered over the ground.
“The plants are coated with ice. Ice is what happens to water when it gets very cold. Water is ice and ice is water.”
“It’s pretty, mommy!”
“We have to enjoy it now because it won’t last.” I look at Isobel’s hand with her perfect, miniature nails, caressing a branch. I notice her expression, full of concentration. Her tiny body, engulfed by the jacket, little fist clutching her pink purse.
“We have to enjoy it. Because it won’t last.”