Campus Life wenbo’s walks

It’s about thyme

I need water

It’s no Mass. Ave., but I never realized how far Beacon Street goes. It’s one thing to visit its shopping locales, but altogether another to just walk down this well-traveled trail. After all, I have no motivation to enter a confined space containing potentially hundreds of people amid a pandemic, even if they’ve all got masks and sanitizer.

Times old heal wounds and open the heart; thyme oil heals wounds too in its art.

Today’s way too hot to be staying outside. Sigh. I regret not bringing water with me when I knew doggone well what the weather was going to look like before leaving the house. A joyous positive presence had reminded me of the phrase “hydrate or diedrate.” Oops.

Alas, I can think of nothing but the desiccated grapes, those accidentally-homemade raisins, on the windowsill of my grandma’s abode, and of the approximately 20 copies of The Tech that I brought back to Virginia from MIT but didn’t take thereupon my return to Boston.

They say to keep pages away from direct sunlight, for the pages will yellow, dry, and crack, and the print itself will fade. They say, they say. I always hear and write “they say,” but I never know who “they” are. I guess it’s conventional wisdom or something, but I lack it apparently for I left these newspapers almost directly in line with the rays of the sun.

But like time itself, which shall wash away the pages and text on these papers, I often wonder how my column will age. Will this be something I look back on and smile at in a decade, or will it be something I try to bury in my past? Will my awful attempts at hyperbole and humor retain their flavor of foolishness? Will I be able to land a third question in a tricolon crescens?

The answer to the last question, dear reader, is apparently no.

Time dries pages but protects their flavor; thyme dried remains in a dish to savor.

I accept the dichotomy in these answers, but acceptance doesn’t comfort me. This is what happens I suppose when anything is published under one’s name: a permanence in the article’s future, so that even after I am gone, these words will somehow live on.

Time will fork and tie two hands; thyme leaves fork in twos demand.

There’s a grand sense of longing that fills me often, but longing for what? I look within myself for my deepest desire. Ah, yes, I long for the taste of thyme. I want to taste it on chicken, on peas, in cheese. Heck, I would even eat a zucchini if it had thyme on it. I want to dry it, fry it, then taste the crunch. I want it to pass me by.

But that is no matter, for I find myself lost. Like, not lost in any metaphorical capacity, in case you were wondering, but literally just lost. I don’t recognize the buildings around me, and my phone is about to valiantly perish. Farewell for now, Lori McKenna.

Huh, being physically lost is one of the grand ironies of life, I suppose. I’ve never felt more found, more seen, more understood by the hymn I’ve found through thyme. (I feel at this moment I should point out that singing isn’t exactly my forte. Thus, though a hymn it may be, it’ll have to come from another’s voice.)

Perhaps I should approximate where I am and try to find home that way. That would generally work, given that Boston is, after all, still a city with some hint of a grid structure. I try to figure out how I got myself into this predicament, where I’ve been, and which general direction my house should be. In theory, if I just walked a straight line in the proper direction, I’ll eventually hit a street I recognize. Or an edifice. Now that I think about it, more likely the latter.

Oh time, oh thyme! Give me the courage to walk this trail; give me the courage to speak my mind! I fear a silence most deafening, lending my fears to happening.

Time bears courage for those most deserving; thyme is temporary though gifts such a feeling.

I’m dehydrated and barely able to think. What would thyme do? I take a deep breath and start my journey. I would have to walk, I think.

Time is a bargain one cannot buy; thyme handles drought and doubts at night.

And so I trudge my way home, slowly but surely, when a thought crept into my mind. Perhaps I never craved thyme for its properties, taste, or cultural significance. I had only craved it because it was guiding me home: thyme, my spirit plant, my favorite of the family Lamiaceae (sorry, mint).

Look, people talk much about spirit animals, and I find myself existing in between a panda or a frog. But spirit plants… I just don’t think plants have gotten the love song they yet deserve. I intend to compose one for thyme immediately.

So now dawns the #deep question I must inquire: to which spirit plant do you aspire?