New Directions – 20

Sweet Peas1


One of the meditations in my course with Fiona (Meditation through Writing) is to make a list of moments where you would like to stop time and preserve those moments in delicate tissue. It was hard at first to go from the realistic approach that you can’t stop time even if you want to, but I stayed with it and came up a list which expresses what I would like to keep wrapped in tissue to be unwrapped and savoured occasionally in my mind.

The first thing was the smell of all the sweet flowers I’ve grown over the years, wrapped and ready to experience long after their scented days are over. I can smell the fragrance in the room of my first little bunch from this year, so it was a natural wish to keep that going.

That got me started, thinking about stopping that moment and holding that fragrance forever.

The second moment I’d like to stop in time is actually multiplied by three. I’d love to stop the moment when I met and held each of my children for the first time, moments after they were safely born and I felt fulfilled and ecstatic at the same time. Time could be stopped for all the cuddles and tickles that followed as they were growing up. I’d need lots of tissue paper.

Some specific times come to mind like flying over Arran on the way to Glasgow airport from Shannon after a transatlantic journey. With thoughts totally focussed on getting home it was amazing to suddenly see the mountain tops reaching up through thick cloud, the peaks identifiable, floating with no sign of any of the island underneath the clouds. It was magical.

Another moment would be the night we were visiting a friend at Knockinkelly and when we came out to go home, Holy Isle was in front of us, absolutely covered in a sheet of colour from the aurora borealis, one of the rare times that the lights reach this far south. We were mesmerised. I would wrap up that moment and bring it out to experience the translucent colours again and again it was so stunning and unexpected.

I would stop time many times to skim over Lamlash Bay in the Wayfarer, especially when I was at the helm. That wonderful experience of being part of the sea, the wind and the sky, working with the elements to control the direction of the journey, not really in control, but responding to what was going on around. Sailing round Holy Isle was like a dream, but one that I could easily parcel up and relive.

As I do this exercise I realise that I have actually stopped those moments in a way in my memory and they are always available to unwrap and experience again. I’m sure now I’ve opened this box, many more moments will come to me that I wish I could have stopped forever, but in a way it’s good that time moves on and leaves space for other moments where we would like to stop time. I’m so lucky to have my memory!


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About lynngrayross

A mother and grandmother with over 40 years of experience in textile arts. Author of "Handweaving: the Basics" published by Bloomsbury UK. Available to purchase from

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