There is something about snow in winter that generates a special buzz. A buzz that may resemble that of a honey bee on a gorgeous summer day, the buzz of an upcoming sporting event that has fans in the city buzzing with excitement, or maybe it’s the buzz from the heater on a cold, snowy day going at full throttle to keep one warm and toasty inside. Does the buzz come from the holiday season and people are excited and in the giving spirit? There is so much to soak in when the snow falls. Snowfall can represent the end of the year and a time to look back and reflect upon our accomplishments, a time of holiday cheer to spread with loved ones, a chance to look towards the future and the better days yet to come.
But in all of snow’s beauty, there comes dread, fear, and hatred. The glistening, gleaning powder presents challenges to have clean driveways, walkways, and streets. A challenge to get from one family’s house to the other can take longer than usual and be stressful for drivers. A challenge for workers who make a living in the winter plowing, shoveling, cleaning streets and public spaces in order for others to enjoy the snow and be safe. Can something so beautiful truly provide such dismay to others?
One snowflake passes the lone streetlight on a seldom-used street only to await its fate. Will it be beautiful and majestic as it falls to the ground, will a young child run outside to stick out their tongue for it to fall on their waiting tongue, will a snowplow come and completely destroy it? With limitless possibilities come endless scenarios. Can we protect this unique snowflake? Can we keep it to ourselves forever? Will there be another just like it?
A snowflake offers countless possibilities, so why do we spend our time trying to figure them out? We could be enjoying all of the snowflakes by piling them together into a ball and creating a memorable snowball fight. A snowball fight that will be talked about for generations to come. We could create a snow hut to keep ourselves warm as we read a book, sip hot cocoa, and share stories with our children filled with wonder and innocence. We could see a snowflake fall onto an engagement ring as a man gets down on one knee and proposes to his soon-to-be fiance. A perfect moment which is a once-in-a-lifetime moment to never be replicated again.
A snowflake has no feeling, no life, no death, no being, no existence, it just is. The frozen water represents a glimpse of our existence which will never be replicated again. A brief moment of our existence is shared with a snowflake, a universe. An it that represents whatever we want it to be. A glimmer of hope, a sign of changing times, a turn in seasons, an open door to something new. With every new door comes new opportunity, and with this new opportunity comes another snowflake, and another, and another, and another. So many snowflakes until they just…stop, vanish. Gone in an instant. Gone for the foreseeable future. When, how, will they return?
The beauty of snow’s uniqueness resembles that of a twinkle in a loved one’s eye; there for an instant filling you with emotion and gone as quickly as it came. A calming feeling of knowing that something positive is to come, but also knowing that you may never see their twinkle again. Here today, gone tomorrow. Here for an instant but leaving a lifelong impression. The twinkle in your grandfather’s eye as he tells you a secret even your father never knew, a secret which could melt away when he does. The twinkle in your grandmother’s eye as she tells you her famous recipe which is so sacred it could never leave a trace, a recipe which may fill you with fear if you were to forget an ingredient and lose it forever.
As the snow continues to fall, it can land wherever it pleases, cover whatever it wants, hide things we seek, and reveal things we forgot when it leaves. In so much beauty comes so much resilience for its presence.