January 15th, 2013…
I woke to snow this morning. Not a lot, but it was a start. The child in me always feels that sense of wonder when I look out of the window on early morning snow. The world is pristine white, hushed and silent. It was still dark and the street lights gave the village a magical air that made me think immediately of wardrobes and fur coats. The inner child wanted to don the white furry cloak that still sits in its case in the top of the wardrobe and wander through the village while it awakened, like some arcane creature of myth.
That cloak could tell many tales, of castles and clifftops, sea caves and magic, of Tintagel and Avalon. It could tell of friendships and beginnings and loving laughter…but it has yet to be worn in the snow.
However, there was another furry thing that needed to go out in the snow with more urgency. So I left my dreams on the windowsill and headed downstairs to let Ani out into the garden.
She loves snow.
After doing her usual dive through the door, she skidded to a surprised halt, looked round in excitement at me with a huge grin and started chasing snowflakes.
And of course, even before coffee hits the brain cells, the mind is working. So it was no surprise that I saw the analogy. How much time do we spend chasing snowflakes? Those elusive, illusory things that attract our attention, seem so important and desirable, only to find they were less solid than they seemed, less tangible… or turn out to be quite different from what we expected, melting into nothingness almost as soon as we catch them?
It was a day like that today, when everything seemed to be overlaid with different meaning. The light dusting of snow that changed a muddied field into a magical landscape. A simple change in perspective… snow is only water after all, and had it been rain that had fallen, the field would not have looked as beautiful. I would certainly not have stopped the car to take a photograph of the trampled mud. But the calm, misty white caught my imagination with its mystery.
It echoed a comment in an exchange of emails this morning, about how the smallest shift in perspective could change the whole landscape of a life.
I have been pondering these things today; it has been a thoughtful day, when unworded realisation hovers around the edges of consciousness where you have to try and catch it and hold it without damaging it… like catching a butterfly in your hands, fragile and delicate. Then, half the time, just when you think you have it, it wriggles out between your fingers and you can’t squeeze in case you crush it.
Or it melts like a snowflake in your hand.