When’s the last time you stopped and looked at something so small, you have to really peer at it just to see its details? I did that a couple weeks ago. Where I live, we’ve dealt with temperatures below freezing for over a week and even below zero for a few days (Fahrenheit, not Celsius).
The day I’m talking about actually got above zero, but that didn’t mean my old man (truck) wanted to work that day. I didn’t make it to my job. Took all day for the battery to warm up enough just so I could go get gas so I could–hopefully–make it to work the next day. Well, I get outside and it’s snowing (been snowing all day). My truck is in the yard (we had to move it out of the driveway so my family could get their vehicles out). Snow is stacked up around it and of course it’s cold. With how much I don’t like cold, it was safe to say I wasn’t in the best of moods.
I manage to get going and make it to the stoplight leading out of my neighborhood. It’s red, so I stop and when I try to get going again, I kill my truck (its a stick shift, btw). There are cars behind me, so I’m silently praying that my old man will start up again, because I do NOT want to be blocking the road. After two tries, we’re up and going again (yay!). I’m hoping for a quick and easy ride to the gas station and back, but no…every stoplight on my way there turns red. I didn’t kill my truck at any of those other lights, but the anxiety at the thought of being stranded in the middle of the street? Not fun.
Finally, I make it to the gas station and stand out in the cold, feeding my truck. The snow is still falling and they’re the kind of flakes you can actually see, not the fleeting, glittery specks that flick past your nose like dust. Quite a few of them land on the dark windows of my truck and I couldn’t help but take a closer look.
We’ve all made snowflakes out of paper as kids, drawn them on something, created a media image, etc. etc. etc. But, I want to ask: when’s the last time you took a closer look at a real snowflake? They’re beautiful. I’ve always heard growing up that no two snowflakes are alike. I’m not sure that’s proven, but that’s a cool concept. That something so fleeting and so small as a snowflake is as unique as the billions of people on this planet. The flakes I saw reminded me of stars and that was my favorite thing about them. I’m tempted to see if I could paint something where snowflakes and stars could be interchangeable–if that makes any sense.
I felt a lot better after I stopped to admire the detail of tiny snowflakes and I was actually thankful I hit every red light on my way home. It allowed me more time to enjoy the little crystals that fell on my windows. Since then, I’ve tried to see what other tiny details have I been missing in everyday occurrences? Like the woven design of a piece of thread or the patterns in a bird’s feathers. Maybe even the way veins spread through a leaf or how gravel dapples different colors upon the ground?
My point is that there’s wonder even in the tiniest of details. I hope that next time it snows (hopefully it won’t be for a while, I like warm weather), you take a closer look at the little crystals falling from the sky. There’s beauty there if you take the time to see it.