Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Single Snowflake

This post was originally published on February 3, 2015 on 

For teachers, a snow day is a gift - a gift of time. A  free day off. You don't have to make elaborate sub plans or get materials ready for a substitute teacher. Usually travel is perilous, so there's no pressure to go anywhere. You can stay where you are and let the day unfold.

Today was our second snow day of the school year, and I had lots of plans for it. I spent most of the day editing and sharing photos and cooking while listening to music. Outside, a blizzard blew fine snow through the air, creating tall drifts. Inside, the wood stove kept the house warm and cozy.

Before sunset, I noticed the snowflakes were getting larger and had the urge to photograph them. Some snowflakes were collecting on the door windows, so I decided to set up my tripod inside next to the door and photograph snowflakes through the window. Although there weren't many to choose from on the windows, I couldn't resist trying. The darkness that was setting in provided the perfect, contrasting background. Here are a few of my favorite captures:

I love the flower at the center of the above snowflake!

Upon close inspection, I noticed that virtually all of the snowflakes on the window were fractured by the time they landed. If you think of the fall of a snowflake as the snowflake's lifetime, it makes sense that they get a little battered in the process, doesn't it? We all do. But the basic pattern of the original design remains discernible. And each snowflake is so lovely!  How many individual snowflakes comprise the massive snowdrifts outside? Surely, I don't have vocabulary for such an enormous number.

People complain about winter - the cold, the snow, the inconvenience. But to notice the intricate splendor of a single snowflake is a revelation of all the tiny wonders and beauty that surround us.

Over the weekend, I became annoyed when my car didn't heat up after driving for quite some time. However, rather than remain stuck in frustration, my attention was diverted to a frost design on the window that looked remarkably like a dragonfly. I slipped into a state of awe and joy. Eventually the car warmed up, and all was well. But all was well all along when I allowed myself to see beyond the cloud of frustration to perceive something more.

I wish I could share this flexibility of perception with everyone so nobody would get stuck in distressful states of mind - because life is too short for that kind of distraction and inertia! Large and small wonders are in abundant supply if we tune in to that channel. By noticing, perhaps we can help others to notice and appreciate.

Look around! There are so many wonders waiting to uplift you if you will take a moment to stop and connect with their magic. Allow something as small and commonplace as a two-millimeter snowflake to awaken you to the beauty of our world, even in the middle of winter. That is my wish for you!

The photographs in this blog (except for those attributed to other owners) and in my Flickr photostream are available for purchase as prints or cards through my Etsy shop by selecting a "custom print" in whatever size you prefer and indicating either the name of the print or the blog post and order in which it appears.

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all text and photos, without express and written permission from this website’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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