Snow as metaphor

Snow- my birthday gift (I was born on the snow-moon- the full moon just finished. ( first draft).

[So here I sit swaddled, hot cocoa in hand after my fun foray to clear frontage; writing about it now on my birthday stationary.]

I love snow. It hasn’t failed to lift my heart but once… after an ice storm in May, when it should have been spring! Thank goodness it’s here on Valentines’ day 2021 after virtual year of hellishness, 2020 and year of Covid’s pandemic. Snow helps me decompress from all the intensity.[1]

Looking out over a snowy landscape, houses twinkle; All is sparkling white and clean. Even if just for a moment, it’s nice to consider.

Smoothing out differences between structures on the ground. At least in the moment, I have a glimpse of what evenness a form equality, just might look like.

There is beauty in the plain, even ugly.

In snow, one’s path is minimized, walking becomes efficient. Ones feet want to stay, taking the shortest way, with no helter-skelter, in going from A to B. One isn’t peripatetic. There is No trip-traipsing around, when snow is deeper than your shoes.

There are few things more jarring, than snow falling in and robbing, my ankle’s inner warmth.

Muffled sounds around me but I appreciate the crunch of my footsteps, the pinching cold

I love the somber quietude.

Sometimes I’d feel lightness in my heart; reminding me I can be glad; I can enjoy something.

You could close your eyes for a moment and think of it now.

*****

On a snowy grey sky day, my eyes rest with less contrast. My being calms to breathe.

Subtly then, blends the day into night. No sun, moon, stars visible. Shadows are muted, unless the sun is out, then they’re in sharp relief. There ‘s barrenness beyond moonscape. When snows falls and fills the air with pirouetting tiny white pixels, margins and horizons are blurred. One lose’s their anchors of existence- becoming just a little disoriented initially. I like that these days. I like not knowing everything any more. It’s OK for me to say so.Trust me, there’s no fun in being mask ripper. I can be withering at certain parties – it’s easier to drown instead or turn my back and ignore you.

I’ve noticed a faint glow when there’s lighting in the air and the snowflakes are falling. The light’s reflections and refraction off snow’s crystals, maybe create a faint photomultiplier effect; it’s fun to imagine the possibility at any rate.

It is in those moments one can imagine another world and dreamscape; and it has never failed, at least once in a season, to inspire me when I needed it!

*****

Each of the houses, blanketed in white, differ like fingerprints with their (window) portals of light. Not a one of them exactly identical or the same, inside or out. – you might not need to look too closely even if you’re in cookie cutter, to notice slight differences in the windows or their dressings. You probably have at least one light bulb, different from your neighbor don’t sell yourself short.

Maybe that’s why lights twinkle, looking down from a plane?! Are my eyes trying to equalize differences in a constant way? Trying to make a balanced picture- when each twinkle there is variance?

Overall the effect, can be quite cheery! I love harmonious diversity, who doesn’t? At least in that very moment there’s myth.

And “Hurray”! Don’t we all need that little boost! Google snowscapes; set one for your desktop!

Sadly though, there are too many houses flickering blue-gray in their front windows.

The effect then, can be a bit spooky, in this, I’ve got to admit.

*****

Snow, tiny crystalline structures of water, falling, swirling and floating created from high in the clouds- has never failed to bring out my “childish” wonder. I fell in love with snow the minute that I saw it- when the walkway was high over my chest and shoulders.

Imagine high up in the atmosphere forming a 2-d pattern.

How do they all clump together, 6 identical sides against a flat plane? How does it know to be symmetrical? It seems miraculous- of course there’s physics to explain it, sure.[2]

Imagine that the speck in the center of each flake, is tiny milled grain of sand. The speck of dust, an ancient dirt, traveled a long time above the clouds. Statistically most sand are from the Sahara desert. Carried here by the Sirocco winds -factoring probabilities and whipped square areas. This wind, the Sirach, AKA, the Siroc, is like Sirach, the Saturnalian Tau canon of human animal law in Old Testament. 

[That is a chapter worth reviewing. Forget about New Testament’s promises- unless you follow them to a “t”.]

Consider wind representing a version of change carrying the sand such a long way from home.  Here it is sand, dry crystals of land, turned now to snowflakes and landing on my shoulders. Wow it’s amazing, about the alchemical processes entailed!

*****

Streets, building, cars, gardens, trees, and walkways- have their story minimized, when the snow sets on them. Snow of the gardens and trees turn into formless beings outlining ghostly whiteness;

Giving my eyes a rest from so many feigned masks of difference.

Sure like everyone else, I don’t love driving in or on snow. But I far prefer that to ice! I also appreciate the enjoyment of a little adventure….giving everyone of course, wide berth[3]. We are all on a learning curve at some point, or so it would seem. I appreciate the sensation.

Shoveling too, is a task for the heart. Who wants to have to clear frozen heavy or hard crystals, away from their comforts of home. I’ll admit shoveling can be tiring as an upper body exercise. I love snow so much that if my heart burst shoveling, well then so be it. I have no regrets (though I can wince some from time to time)[6].

So I get to take breathers and enjoy it outside. This gives me a time, in which I may reflect.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, snow doesn’t stick. Maritime conditions keep us buffered with salty air from the Pacific- it’s salt lowers the freezing point[4]; helps turn it to puddles faster[5]. Most of the time here, you don’t really need to shovel it. It melts quickly on it’s own.

With salt in it’s grounding, emotions flow freely.

As I shovel, going through those blocked chunks of ice, I consider, what will I find underneath? I keep at my work with patience and steadiness.

*****

Tall and slim, or wide with branches, snow, like opportunity, is received by each differently. How it lands, depends on the surface.

Flat, curved, or spire, each structure collects snow in its own special way.

Suddenly, a big pouf of snow falls down, letting a branch spring up. For fun, it makes me reflect on the difference between the cycling deciduous versus evergreens and their boughs’ branches.

Snow, as frozen water, collects lightly on the deciduous, those who can shed what no longer serves. It otherwise tends to build up on conifers.

With a healthy deciduous tree leaves abscise seasonally. Meaning they fall off and must be replaced, on a regular basis. snow lands on those bare branches giving them a shining mantle, but most of the snow falls straight to the ground.

{Let your grounding soothe your worries- and other crystalline emotions, they will melt and change in the spring.}

Those bare tree shapes and outline may be more vague in white, people call them ugly; they are at their most beautiful- in summer when leafed out.

Theirs is magnificent temporal beauty. It requires a resting. There is great movement in their soil, volumes for volumes, compared to the conifers.

With a deciduous tree, it’s the ice that will get them. Then no matter having no leaves. With ice build up branches, like parts of us, they get over-weighed and snap. Add wind (represents change), and the process is worsened.

Conifers on the other hand, stand through winter tall and green. They shed their bunched needle leaves a little bit continuously. They have a deep inner dry space; protecting creatures’ nestings. With the evergreen tree, you never get to see its skeleton. (Thank you Jeff Keane!)

On these trees, the snow builds up, until thwump, it falls off a big branch – load falling on your head when I you’re standing near it.  With that, according to the laws of motion, energy is transferred to tree’s trunk.  It really is quite Newtonian, what comes next is a natural consequence of cause and effect.

That release of snow from said branch, from falling in a clump, recoils the branch upwards affecting momentum’s change to the trunk. This causes, at least little spring, bumping branches all around. That jostle- shedding further like a butterfly effect.

Stay back while that’s happening! Or you’ll get snow right down your back, and Brrr! That is no one’s favorite; it’s startling when things shift so suddenly (insert startled emoji).

Then the conifer branches lighten up, become more horizontal. Outstretched to the heavens- as if Christmas is restored. Boughs can now be offered to tree’s lateral relatives, branches lighter coated in their polished shimmer.

Snow as crystallized emotion, lands on each of us differently. Some receive it more gracefully; others let it pile up- till the structure collapses. Usually it lands most heavily, on the “earth” people[7]around us, the ones who want to house (help) everyone a bit too unconditionally. 

*****

Spired structures, steeples and sharp rooflines, are beings often teachers and leaders. They don’t have as much change or range, but can grow despite ‘snow’s’ challenges. Course, maybe they can shrug their feelings off, perhaps even seeming like a sociopath or narcissist- especially to those of us empathic.

With particularly sharp rooflines, though dramatic in the snow, snow can’t land or penetrate. These archetypes don’t let the water (emotion) get in, it rolls off without building. They’re at risk of drying and inside dieback – though still look noble on the outside.

Standing tall without bending, they are often unchanged by love’s soothing.

Though those with really big arms, I mean boughs, do let the snow, er emotions, build up…never even noticing until the day they break down; then watch out for angry words (and tears) -thwumps on the ground received .

*****

[My essay will now go to the myth of equal opportunity, quite a topical shift. I know, yet in the final draft, I always have the prerogative to change things.]

Consider the thought of how a public[8]school or service works typically. Consider In the classroom, everyone sitting together- each technically receiving the same information; Differences are often minimized, in the most effective atmospheres. 

And yet, there are differences based on race and class- hearing the teacher, in their own way at that moment. Maybe to them, the teacher seems uninterested or even disliking. How can one expect to learn, let alone teach when this is the underlying condition?

There was a little boy named Cardi, a relative of sorts. His skin was a little darker, from those he sat with in class. Now the teacher, a white Seventh Day Adventist[9], made it very clear to him, that “Indians” were inferior. And rubbed this ‘news’ into his wounds. If I’m not mistaken this was in his first grade, just a few years ago up the street (at least for me, an “old” one).

How did that make him feel?

Not surprisingly, this child was diagnosed as disruptive and having ADD. They gave him medications. Nothing helped; I’m not even sure if he ever graduated – other than by G.E.D. (general education development) a solo-learning pathway. It is almost impossible to get a canon of fundamental knowledge, when you’re parsing your own diploma.

You see he was adopted by a nice white couple; they too were so-called “Christian”.   She[10](especially) wanted to “save him”[11], so she disconnected him from his roots, and trashed them. Her zeal though was projection; but him who was hurt.

Severing his cords, calling them slurs, created a no-win situation for grounding root and chakra; instead, he had to make up inappropriate attachments to make up for the losses.

For a while, he acted inveterate.

Finally, thanks to his non-biological sister, he did get reconnected to his tribe and hopefully onto a path of spiritual and physical healing. I have been sending him well wishes, though not in a concerted way.

*****

As teachers, we don’t know then which students, are really flat, curved, or spired, though, yes, it is justified that we take a hard look at goals for each set individually.

We may speak to a class together, but one wonders which 20% is heard? What will you say that draws or repels them?[12]

So while to an outside, it may look the same, education can’t be the same for everyone. With all our shapes and sizes, it’s a wonder people graduate[13]! The real question though, is how to best honor the most. That is a task at hand; kids need grounding in basic principles of jobs, living, and commerce. Leave the advanced stuff for later (or until budget improves when not squandered).

It is impossible to know at any one time, underneath the layers, who is the evergreen conifer, the deciduous, or man-made structure. At least not in Buffalo, New York where it can snow 20 feet over a weekend.

I felt so happy to be in my (public) school; I was away from my mother. If I chose to compare, there were always others who struggled or otherwise had it “worse” than I did; there was always an underdog, to whom I could bond.

Listening to the questions and answers was interesting; but being a smart girl in class, was not particularly wise. It is easy for many of us to stay under the radar, to not draw attention, and to quietly pass tests. Let the boys show off.

I’m so glad my classes weren’t distracted; at least I’m glad we had teachers who cared about the subject matter rather than teaching with a shotgun of monetary threats to their heads for a test!

Good teachers savor their stories as they teach and are able to dramatically embellish. They can present a solution that is sometimes even elegant! [14]It is inspiring when that happens.

I’ll admit, it was fun on a very rare occasion, to facilitate significant worsening of the learning atmosphere. When we had a substitute, she was at our mercy. I remember a couple of mayhems, completely harmless free-for-alls, with airplanes and spitballs flying. No tears from what I recall. It was good clean fun but I’m very glad it was annual. At least a couple of times got me laughing out loudly. (Usually I’d be quiet one, sitting in the back, struggling to listen above the whispers around me.)

I’m glad I didn’t go the principle’s office but then I didn’t get physical. I could go right up to the edge and peer, while some (usually) boys went over. Those scenes played out over harsh words in the cafeteria (over food rituals).

“Boys will be boys” physicality can be worsened with ramifications of marketing on pubescent children. Much dialogue seems to encourage picking on each other over a manufactured sense of limit and focus on a lack of girls and resource – which are required for power. Much of this media is actively, though subliminally, polarizing adding strife and confusion.

*****

I get a bit sardonic, when I hear someone bemoan a “snowflake”. Speaking negatively of ephemeral flaky beauty, when they’re talking about themselves.

Would that we could all, in our own little way and for a little while, be a bit more focused- instead of melting immediately, when things don’t go their way? Perhaps getting overly heated, from friction in their thoughts?

***

You can also see how, as the temperature under the snow cloud warms, crystals enlarge and get sticky while they may start off drifting lightly, they are soon heavy with moisture, becoming rain. As they are on the verge of melting, there paths direct and straighten, then splat land onto concrete.

That’s when I get a little sad, knowing that soon my lovely snow (and dream of similarities) will soon be ending.

Anticipating a return to our differences with our usual selves- that particular magic over, Sigh, and yet I am glad snow doesn’t last!

Mashallah Habibi, even if you hate me-of course, that’s unlikely.


[1]For me in a wretched state (but OK).

[2]I hope they don’t create them in a lab, unless the process is non-toxic.

[3]my favorite excuse for ignoring you- is assuming you need as much, or more space than I!

[4] freezing point depression, meaning it must be even colder to freeze water. With salt, at zero (Celsius), ice will thaw, even though it’s freezing. Chill things off too far down though and ice can’t melt, then nothing will keep us from slipping. Chemicals won’t help you keep your bearing either.

[5]a healthy release of emotion is accompanied by salt tears. Grounding lets emotions release more quickly, almost get sucked in some landscapes!

[6]I almost do-have a regret, one-meeting L.D. My soul (probably Serena) still at least from time to time, screams as if she’ sin a fire without him. I’m really quite hare-brained in those moments; it’s hard to get through to me. Snow distracts me though, thinking of it gives me relief.

[7]From the ayurvedic perspective, this would be the Kapha element people. Heavy, cool, lugubrious are described qualities; their tastes prefer sweet and salty. Collectively they embody element of oil – and act as lubrication for the whole so everything runs more smoothly.

[8]95% of my education was from the public school system here in the U.S., and Canada.

[9]Do not Seventh Day Adventists consider themselves Christian?

[10]An ex-(self-described) drug addict herself, who does not endorse or trust in the twelve steps philosophy (until now) but prefers the paternal approach –being told how to and not to live.

[11]His biologic mother was a drug addict. He was a drug baby. The family used that as excuse- naming his label in front of him.

[12]TG our educators now have the ability to see real world challenges of students! With Zoom school during the Pandemic, we can peer into living rooms. Imagine how difficult it must be for the student to concentrate living like a sardine or without a desk! And yet, there will ALWAYS be those that make it, no matter how dire things seem.

[13]Oh wait, there are high failure rates in some areas; I wonder how many are actively polarized? That would be an interesting study.

[14]Lol, I wonder if my intense anchoring-self, sitting in the back of class, deeply listening, had any effect on MY classes? My sister on the other hand, in her classes, reported it full of rambunctious cussing! 

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