One of snow's great charms is when it drifts and swirls out of the sky, landing softly on the ground with a gently increasing icing-sugar effect. The atmospheric delight of it, how it sets the scene of picture-postcard perfection, and how it enhances the warmth and coziness of home very nearly makes enduring the reality of snow possible. It's snowing? How pretty! Time for a cuddly sweater, hot cocoa, and a book in front of a roaring fire.
I sat looking out the front door as I ate my morning oats (slow-cooker oatmeal... delicious!) and thought maybe my retinas were detaching. I've heard when that happens it's like dots floating in front of your eyes. I was seeing dots, but only barely... a suggested whisper of dots. The dots took a straight line to the ground, like they were pulled by gravitational magnetism, and in lonely singles, as though they'd been let go one at a time from above. There was no physical evidence of them on the ground, but as I approached the glass door to look more closely, I could see that the dots were in fact snowflakes. Wee ones, to be sure, but weighty enough and determined enough to not waste time on their downward journey with drifting and swirling. They must have landed with enough force that they disintegrated into nonexistence.
In the time it took to rinse my bowl, text mom about Carmelites and almonds, and open the laptop, the singles of snowflakes have multiplied. They're now falling with purpose from the sky in clans; so many of them that their shattered remains are now evident on the ground. It may takes many hours, but there will eventually be actual drifts of snow and people will leave footprints as they walk the road beyond my window.
My understanding of how snowflakes come to be may be on the fanciful side: drops of moisture typically fall to earth as rain, but colder temperatures makes the drops playful. They leap and swirl, and gambol around in the upper reaches of the sky. Their time spent twirling and dancing alters their crystal garments, making them resplendent, telling a story of their adventures.
These snowflakes of today are too purpose-driven and time-pressed to spend any time at all on their crystal garments. They're falling to earth in their every-day wear. They might have been in the midst of gardening or folding the laundry and said, "We've got a lot to do, Esther, so no dilly dallying. Let's just get there.
I want to live my life in such a way that my garment is chock full of sparkles.