I should have been making breakfast.
God knows I should have been cleaning the floors, or scrubbing the bathroom, or wiping the 3,000 fingerprints off the windows.
But something magical happened in the forest this week.
Usually, the forest is dark, dormant and barren in winter. Cruelly abandoned, really. The leaves are gone, the butterflies and flowers are gone. The songbirds bailed a long time ago. They’re somewhere South, sipping margaritas on a sandy beach, posting colorful selfies on instagram to those of us who are jealous and cold and left behind.
Left behind, we feverishly clean our cabins and long for spring. Because it gets claustrophobic and messy, living in a box in the snow for six months out of the year. I miss the sunshine. It’s dark in the box.
But, for one glorious morning hour this week, all that darkness was transformed.
Who knows what all was involved…humidity, temperature, the angle of the lights, the alignment of the planets… Whatever it was, it was perfect. Every stick, every twig and every branch in the woods was covered in ice. Illuminated with icy, heavenly light, the forest sparkled. It glowed. It refracted rainbow spectrums and ignited the woods with joy.
I left the housecleaning in a heartbeat, and coaxed Small One out the door.
This was one of those moments. One of those experiences that stay with you forever, able to warm your heart on the coldest of future days.
Small One and I walked through the diamond forest together.
An hour later, the sun had weakly risen in the sky, the ice had melted, and not one glittering crystal remained on any branch. It was back to darkness again. Normal. As if nothing remarkable had ever happened.
We returned home, back to the laundry pile of doom and the drudgery of cleaning…
Later that afternoon, as I burned dinner yet another time, Small One smiled at me.
“Remember the diamonds, Mom?”
“Yes, Small One.”
“We walked right in the middle, didn’t we?”
Yes, Small One.
I smiled back at her, and felt the joy return.