Have you ever seen snowflakes before?
I mean REAL snowflakes. The ones with six points. The ones that land on the metal railings outside and leave little patterns. The ones that collect on your car windshield and look exactly like little six-pointed star confetti. (Now I know where they got the idea!!)
I had never seen a real snowflake until the second round of winter storms hit north Texas. We rarely get snow, but the snow we do receive is usually wet, and melts upon contact with anything. If it does “stick,” it remains densely packed and reminds me more of Dip’n Dots than actual snow.
I saw my first snowflake of my entire life that morning, on my way out to my car. Keys in my gloved hand, I reached out to unlock the driver’s side door and froze. There it was, resting delicately on my pointer finger.
Pausing in sheer awe, I stared at that perfectly formed snowflake for a full minute. I brought my hand as close to my face as I possibly could, trying to get an even closer look at its divine symmetry.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so beautiful in the past month. Or, possibly, in the last year.
Nature has this uncanny way of shocking us, surprising us when we least expect it, pulling us in and reminding us of how small we are.
All thoughts of my upcoming classes fled my mind as I drove to the university. At every stoplight, I found myself compulsively pressing my nose to my window, looking ever-so-closely at the little stars that landed there just on the other side of the glass.
Later, walking to class, I walked with hands outstretched. Every so often, I would bring my gloves close to my face and examine the minuscule forms.
I took a detour in the snow that morning, taking every opportunity to snap a photo here, look intently at a metal railing there. I must have looked crazy to any passers-by, but I could care less.
That morning I was filled with such childlike joy, and inexpressible awe.
I found myself thinking, “If this were the climate I lived in, I think I could definitely live with months of this kind of snow!” This thought shocked me– I had previously always dreaded the thought of moving to a place with more than a couple weeks of winter.
The artist in me found herself basking in vivacious energy. I found inspiration floating literally through the air, everywhere I turned my gaze.
That morning I was incredibly grateful.
And, most importantly of all, I walked myself to class with the hugest smile across my bundled-up face.