The gardens are done. The fat tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and peppers long ago picked and their parent plants lie drooping against the frosty ground having done their work. The only thing left is the hardy swiss chard and rosemary, thyme and sage, sheltered in the herb garden.
Thanksgiving morning. Prepping our contributions to bring to our new in-laws home. Cooking in the kitchen, bumping into each other over the sink. Pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, stuffing. The house still smells of the coffee and bacon from breakfast and now of pumpkin, onions, garlic. It is what I imagine heaven smells like.
I am missing my sisters and brothers in New Jersey and the big happy crazy quilt of family and friends that make our Thanksgiving what it has been for every year but two for me. This year we are staying in New Hampshire to be with our pregnant daughter, her husband and his parents. A new tradition.
I go outside to the herb garden to snip what's left of the thyme and sage to add to the stuffing and stop and pick the tiny pink rose I've been watching from the kitchen window all week. I hate to pick it, would rather see it living on the stem. But it is cold, snow flurrying, and getting colder and I know the frost will nab it soon.
Inside I set it on the window sill over the sink. "I expect to see a painting of that tomorrow," my son-in-law laughs.
It turns out that Thanksgiving is wherever you are with whoever you're with. The memories of our lives are stored in pungent aromas and textures and tastes and stories that transcend time and place. One of the human gifts we have is our ability to remember, to make connections and create new experiences. Pretty lucky to be human as far as I can tell.
And so, after all that we left the stuffing with the garden sage and thyme behind on the porch and it never made it to Thanksgiving dinner.
Our dinner was lovely, the wine just right and our celebration as good as could be. A new baby to come and new life to be lived and loved. Thanksgiving.
And in case you wondered, here's the garden rose.
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”