Fingers frozen and a face on fire, it turns out both can happen at the same time.
This is the first full feeling I got while taking an afternoon off at the Japanese Tea Garden with my parents. No phone, except for a quick picture of course, and just the sweet sound of a woman trying to find a second bunch of flowers (accompanied by the slightly louder voice of my mother asking how in the hell my computer broke). The fact that this safe haven is found just ten minutes away from the craziness of downtown San Antonio is astonishing to me. The fact that this is my second year living here and I have never been here is even more astonishing.
After taking a lap around the uncharted cove, my parents and I purchased a hibiscus iced tea, the delicious origin of my frozen fingers. We then sat on a bench across from a wedding setup happening, becoming the token observers of the happiest day of someone else’s life. There was something about watching chaos without being apart of it that was a sweet relief to me. With basketball season, physical therapy, school, work, and two internships going on, a true moment of stillness was unmarked territory. I don’t think my parents realized how nice it was to simply sit. They came to watch the basketball game that day, although I honestly can’t even remember which one it was. The games all run together at this point. Another loop of the same warm-up songs, another pregame speech that I had to perform to my teammates even though I wasn’t even playing, another late night of studying afterwards . . .
But in this one moment, with the sun beating on my face and the ice cubes slowly watering down my tea, the world stopped and I was able to think beyond the daily schedule. I was able to look at the wrinkles that have slowly been spreading across my mother’s face, and the small grey hairs that are beginning to poke out from my father’s chin. Beyond their loving faces was the garden. Although I had seen pictures, it was definitely more beautiful in person. Piercingly cliqué, I know. However, it wasn’t quite as colorful as imagined, for the previous week’s frost had wiped out most of the plants and flowers. Amazing, isn’t it. These green and red and orange seeds spend the entirety of their lives growing into beautiful, sometimes strong and sometimes wispy, fearless sights. All to be wiped away in an unexpected rush of cold. Life is certainly a . . . female dog.
The realization of an unexpected disaster was the perfect result of this date. You can
work as hard as you can, but sometimes it will catch up to you. Sometimes it’s something you have done, and sometimes it’s a cold front in Texas. But sometimes, you just have to sit back, let your fingers freeze while your face burns, and just hope to goodness that the lady finds her bouquet.