Snowflakes and Stories

Do you remember when you first learned to use scissors?  I think I was in Preschool or Kindergarten. I remember a piece of clean white paper being placed at my table and being instructed to “fold the paper in half” and then to “fold it in half again and again” as many times as I wanted.  Then I remember being given the freedom to cut little pieces out of this folded piece of paper with my scissors until I was ready to open it up again. 

Sometimes, when I opened up the paper, it crumbled into pieces because I got a little scissor happy.  Other times, though, I slowly opened up that paper and my eyes opened wide to see the beautiful creation I had made. . . a snowflake!  I remember sitting at my table and being mesmerized at the snowflakes that hung from the fluorescent lights all around the classroom. I recall being told that “no two snowflakes are alike” and the game I played with myself as I compared those snowflakes dangling from the ceiling.  I was intent to find two that matched. . .  I didn’t buy the assertion made about the individuality of these falling wet flakes. . .

I didn’t believe it, that is, until this week when I captured this little shot. . .


It was a cold blustery day as I peered through my viewfinder at the snow that had fallen on my hat.  I focused in and clicked a few times.  As I pulled the camera away from my face it was like unfolding that white piece of paper so many years ago.  I pushed the back button to review the picture I had captured and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw beautifully formed snowflakes resting on my hat. 

I was shocked at how intricate these tiny white ice crystals were.  I was, one again, mesmerized, but at an entirely new level.  I stared at the picture and was completely enraptured by the complex beauty that these tiny little things held.  I was enthralled by the delicacy with which they settled themselves onto the fabric, keeping their shape and maintaining their individuality.  I was also struck with the speed at which this little beauties  disappeared. . . right before my eyes.

Oh yes, at 32, I was caught up in a snowflake.  It wasn’t just a snowflake, though.  It was so much more.  It was, for me, a gentle reminder of how important it is to take time to recognize that this moment is important.  It wasn’t just the snowflake that was unique, intricate, beautiful, and fragile. . . so is this moment, this day, this life.  These tiny little crystals were shouting out a huge message. . .

Don’t miss this!

And so I didn’t.

I delighted watching Charlie and Chanelle “go swimming” in the bathtub on a frigid January morning. I ate up each shrill of excitement and each exclamation of “this is the coolest thing ever!”

And then I laughed with the kids as they insisted that Rhino the Dinosaur and Kitty the Kitty warm their feet with socks. . .

. . . before taking in this scene that looks like my kids loving on each other, but they are actually wrestling.  I was the ref. . . or the person that yelled “be careful” 250 times.

And when all is said and done and everyone is exhausted from the endless activity. . .

I find my mind resting, again, on that snowflake. What a beautiful piece of nature. What a beautiful illustration of life. Just as no two snowflakes are alike. . . no two lives are alike either.  It is so incredibly awesome that each one of us has our own story.  Our own beginning, middle, and end that shapes and molds us into the people we are.  Charlie and Chanelle will have their stories.  We bloggers have our stories. . .as does each person who comes across our paths each day.

And while I believe each of our stories are unique, I also believe our stories interconnect to form something bigger and stronger and more enduring than any story could ever be alone.  Maybe that’s why I tell my story. . . and I think everyone should tell their stories.  Maybe I believe that somehow, somewhere. . . it will all mean something. . . and that something will be good.. . very, very good. 

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.
Maya Angelou

  • Sassytimes - January 14, 2011 - 2:18 pm

    WOW! That snowflake is amazingly beautiful. I guess I didn't really realize that snowflakes really look like that. Stunning. Great shot.

    …and I love your quote. It is so true and hits home for me. I would love to tell my story, but I'm not there yet. Well, not on my blog…maybe a different one.ReplyCancel

  • Written Permission - January 14, 2011 - 3:32 pm

    What a great post, Sum. Love your shots of the snowflakes — so amazing that they really do look like that! — and the kiddos. I love your consistent message about living TODAY the best we can. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ky • - January 21, 2011 - 2:19 pm

    Swimming in the tub is incredible.

    THAT is a great idea.ReplyCancel

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