It's a snowy January morning and my nose is cold. I'm bundled up in layers and layers of winter clothing and I'm leading a pony out to her paddock.
Oh, yes—I should also mention: it's snowing.
So it's snowing, so what? It's just snow. And snow is something that I most assuredly take for granted on a day-to-day basis.
I live in a place where snow arrives in October or November and sometimes doesn't leave until April or even May. That's why snow becomes something of an ordinary occurrence, something we deal with and maybe even complain about. We shovel it, we plow it, we shovel it again—basically, we do whatever it takes to get it out of our way so we can continue on with our daily activities.
So I guess you could say that I don't always appreciate snow. But as I work outside on this particular gray January morning something wonderful happens.
I notice the snow.
Not the accumulated snow through which I'm tromping, nor the poofs of snow that have collected on the pine branches, although those are nice in their own way. What has really caught my fancy are the individual snowflakes that are slowly and silently descending from the sky. It's almost like being transported into a snow globe.
The snowflakes land—one by one by one—on the sleeves of my coat, on the front of my overalls, on the back of my pony. Every snowflake is miniature and perfect; the delicate patterns nothing short of miraculous; the beauty of each individual flake—breathtaking.
Scientists say that no two snowflakes are the same—like fingerprints, every snowflake has a unique pattern that is unlike any other. It's easy to forget that extraordinary fact when we're sweeping eight inches of snow off the windshield of a pickup truck. We don’t look at a five-foot snow drift and think, "Oh! There are a few snowzillion individual snowflakes all piled up." But they are—and we should.
My pony grows impatient, tired of waiting while I appreciate the winter wonder unfolding around us. So we proceed with our day, but first I brush a few snowflakes from her forelock and marvel at the miracle of it all.