Snow as metaphor

~original draft

Snow   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 the Valentines’ day[1]   Covering everything in a blanket of white is always a marvel. Even a dusting is magical to me.

Everything evenly coated, all is sparkling white and clean.  Smoothing out differences between structures on the ground. With snow is  beauty in the plain.  

In the snow one’s path becomes minimized, where ones feet tend to stay in a path. No trip traipsing around, when snow is deeper than your shoes. There are few things more jarring, than snow against warm skin.  

Muffled sounds, I love the somber quietude.  

Snowy grey sky days, my eyes rest with less contrast. Subtly then, blends day into night. No sights of sun, moon, stars or horizons, those anchors of our existence to me is initially disorienting; I like it.  

Shadows gone; there ‘s barrenness beyond moonscape. Snows blending air with white pixels, blurs the margins of horizon.  

Dancing light self-reflecting and refracting, the atmosphere seems to glow. Isn’t this essentially, a photomultiplier effect?  

It is in those moments one can imagine another world entirely.  

Each of the houses, blanketed in white, differs like fingerprints with their window portals of light. Furthermore, not a one of them is the same, inside or out – in this case, you don’t even have to look closely.  

Overall the whole, the effect is quite cheery! Hurray don’t we all need that little boost! Google snowscapes; set one for your desktop.  

Though there are too many houses flicker with blue-gray. No sounds or movements, quite within. Then the effect, is a bit spooky.   *****  

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.  

Imagine snow forming from sand high up in the atmosphere. Forming a ends up 2D pattern from swirling in spiral as its carried by wind. Dropping down as it becomes heavy.  

How do they all clump together, 6 identical sides in a flat plane? How does it know to be symmetrical? Snow seems miraculous.[2]  

Imagine the speck in center of each crystal, is a tiny finely milled grain of sand, and ancient. Statistically with Sahara’s -if I’m not mistaken (factoring  probability and square area being whipped by Sirocco winds, AKA Siroc (pronounced similarly as Syrach, a Saturnalian Tau of Old Testament).    

Turning now to snowflakes that land on my shoulders, here it is, dirt from desert in the middle of winter.  Just think about the alchemical processes in that!  


Streets, building, cars, gardens, trees, and walkways have their story minimized, as the snow sets on them. Snow of the gardens and trees turn into formless beings outlining ghostly whiteness, giving eyes a rest from verdency of masked difference.  

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 a special way.  

Just pause for a moment and give time to imagine it. Let your thoughts cool, as the air gets crisp around you. At least in the moment, get a glimpse of what evenness looks like.  

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, or so it would seem.  

Here in the Pacific Northwest, snow doesn’t stick. Maritime conditions keep us buffered with salty air from the Pacific. Salt lowers the freezing point[4]; helps turn it to puddles faster[5].  

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

As I sit here swaddled, writing after my foray to clear frontage. Shoveling gettinig through icy blocked emotion, what will I find underneath?  

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 evergreen bough’s branches.  

Snow, as frozen water, can be considered crystallized emotion. It collects lightly on the deciduous, those who shed what no longer serves; builds up on confers.  

With a healthy deciduous tree, leaves abscise seasonally; snow lands on those bare branches but mainly falls straight to the ground. (Let your grounding soothe your worries and other crystalline emotions, they will melt and change in the spring.)  

Their shapes’ outline may be more vague in white, they are most beautiful in summer when leafy.  

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 exacerbated.  

Conifers on the other hand, standing through winter so tall and green, do shed a little bit continuously, have a deep inner dry space; protecting birds’ nesting.  

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. This causes, at least little spring, bumping branches all around. That jostle- shedding further like a butterfly effect.  

Stay back while it is happening! Or you’ll get snow right down your back, and Brrr! That is no one’s favorite.  

Then conifers branches lighten up flinging, become almost horizontal. Outstretched to the heavens – Christmas is restored. Boughs can be offered to one’s lateral selves, now coated in 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. *****

‘Buildings’ with spires, steeples and sharp rooflines, are often our 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, or their feeling glands are vestigial, perhaps even seeming like “sociopaths” and “narcissists”- at least to those us “empaths”- who love someone to read their mind (!)

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).


[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 he was in his first grade, so ~6.  

How did that make him feel?  

Not surprisingly, this child was diagnosed as disruptive and having ADD. They gave him medications. His parents spoke of diagnosis when he was in earshot.

Nothing helped; I’m not even sure if he 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 cord and calling them inadequate, creates a no-win situation for his grounding root and chakra; inappropriate attachments make up for its loss.  

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 to spiritual to the 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.  

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 quietly bond.  

Listening to the questions and answers was interesting; but being a smart girl in class, was not particularly wise. It is easy to stay under the radar, to not draw attention to oneself, 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 to their heads for a test!  

Good teachers savoring their stories as they teach are able to 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 rare.

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 just 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 to resources, girls, and power. Much of this is actively, though subliminally, polarizing.


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.

[1] For me in a wretched state alone in my heartbreak and brokeness.

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

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

[4] meaning it must be even colder to freeze the 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, nothing will keep us from slipping. Chemicals won’t help you keep your bearing.

[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 about our separation- I’m really quite hare-brained; 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 (at McGill).

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

[10] An ex 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 for 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!  

By Dr. Jen Wyman-Clemons, MD

Dr. Wyman-Clemons treats the body, mind, emotions as well as spiritual wellness using tools described by established teachers and authors and her own experiences as she experiences an ongoing sense of (loving) energetic intrusion (possession) since 2019. She has ~thirty years of clinical experience as an allergy and internal medicine physician (ABAI, ABIM) has completed requirements to practice as a yoga teacher, USUI Reiki Master, and astrologer.

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