Last evening I stepped outside to check out that perfect snow. A ‘perfect snow’ means there is no wind, the flakes drift ever so slowly to the earth and peace fills my heart. On my sleeve I looked down to see the miracle frozen water crystals that make up a snowflake. They did not immediately melt, but displayed themselves to me as if it were my own private jewel collection.
I was soon transported to the bike rack at Ben Franklin Elementary. It was 1958 and I was in the third grade. It was February and the snow was falling just as it did last night. I looked down on my grey parka and the snow flakes landed to put on their show. I remember being taken in by both their symmetry and their uniqueness. It was a holy moment. The nine year old Mark knew I was part of something special. Beauty needs no explanation.
It’s like the time I took Matias (my grandson), who is on the ‘spectrum’, to see the Grand Canyon. He was either complaining or asking questions I could not answer. “Why do you want me to see this”?—Mattias. “Contempt prior to investigation will keep one in everlasting ignorance” (William James) and Papa Mark. We walked out on an overhang for his first view. He was speechless for at least five minutes. “You were right Papa Mark, its amazing”. I love being right, but what I love more is opening the world to my grandkids.
I don’t have much more to say today. I find myself wondering why some snowflakes are a lot like a starfish—spindly and basic, while other are more of the Sistine Chapel variety. I hope you have some time this year to hang out with a few flakes.
Onward and Upward, Mark