It was a special moment. One of those elusive, tranquil, deep moments when the mind is clear, one thought leading to another, tumbling you deeper and deeper in to contemplation. I recalled my ancestors. Coincidentally, it was the same day we chanced to see the Auroras from our flat. Even the sunset seemed more beautiful that evening simply because it hadn’t been seen for a while, what with all the constant cloud cover.
Spirits were high, skipping to the sea, as I had been called to for some time. There was something about the kind of snow that drew me out, it’s size, texture, how it blew and fell. Never before have I seen as many types of snow as in Finland, each with its own expression. One of my favorites was the little puff ball sort, not quite hail, still soft and fragile.
I was feeling reverent of the snow, and not nearly for the first time. Its crystalline essence astonishes me, impossibly geometric. Snow is one of those creations that is truly wondrous, a tangible, tastable gift from the heavens that’s too magical to be true.
Upon reaching the shore, I stopped, awestruck, face upturned, flakes landing on my face. Focusing my eyes further out and closer in, I observed it flying to earth. What a spectacular journey! Laughter escaped me watching its playful nature. Out there, with the expansive view of the ice-covered sea, I cleared untouched layers off a bench and rested. Hand outstretched, I proffered the snow a place to settle. The flakes seemed as innocent as children, so lovely and unique. These were the type that remind me of cotton when you look closely, and I thought, how delicate, puffy, and adorable. I love snow as naturally as I love a person. It evokes the same kind of feelings, true love. The billions of snowflakes pile up, just for us to tromp through and revel in, crunching under foot. Blankets of snow even manage to enhance the missing silence in our lives with their sound proofing quality.
Cozy and secure in the comfort of shelter and fancy gear, snow appears gentle as a babe, yet it has the potential to unleash the full force of nature’s might. The guy at the ice castle in Kemi told me it would support a tractor driving on the roof. Take it a few steps further and look at what glaciers can do. The Ice Age! (For some reason Grandpa Arthur has been with me lately. We’ve shared a few moments together. It is such an empowering, nurturing feeling to be able to call on your ancestors.)
The urge to express these feelings and thoughts has persisted since that day. I am prompted to action by this morning’s flurry (even the words associated with snow are cool) when I witnessed the largest snowflakes I’ve ever seen swaying down like down. Fleeting, the spell lasted but minutes, a symbolic characteristic: impermanence, unpredictability.
Thinking about snow’s many permutations, tender and fierce, I considered that it all comes from water. Water is snow’s mother, snow but one of water’s many offspring. A certainty settled on me then, obvious, clear, and suddenly confirmed, validated, proven: Water is a God. As such, not much thought need go in to water, other than a bow of acknowledgement and gratitude.
As long as we aren’t out there unprepared at the mercy of snow’s more severe personality, where awkward questions of mortality are to be considered, which, luckily, I’ve only encountered once, I prefer to embrace the more privileged and perhaps naïve judgement of snow as a friend, to be frolicked in with glee, and respect of course.