I’ve been thinking about snowflakes recently. We all have memories from childhood of cutting out snowflakes, learning about these fascinating “crystals”, oohing and aahing at how each and every one is unique. I do not remember studying about a man named Snowflake Bentley, but I was recently introduced to this fascinating individual…who is fascinating because he himself was fascinated by…Snowflakes! He photographed hundreds and hundreds of them. Devoted his life to documenting their individuality. We hail the uniqueness of snowflakes…we all love knowing that we, too, are unique creations, no two of us alike. Sparkle Snowflake, Sparkle! Yes, that’s what we love!
But there’s more for us to learn from these minuscule beauties. I know the tendencies of my own heart, and here is where the snowflake helps me. I tend to err in thinking that it is up to me to create my own individuality, to fashion my uniqueness. I’m pretty sure that snowflakes, as they are being formed, aren’t looking around them thinking, “No, I don’t want that trait, oh yes, I’d like to have that one” and then setting about making it happen. Snowflakes are created. Snowflakes just are. Their uniqueness and individuality are in place, and they only have to BE what they’ve been fashioned to be. My challenge is to submit to the uniqueness that has been granted to me; to celebrate it, and to be active in it. No need to wish I was made like another, thus obliterating the unique aspect. In fact, it seems, that when I get pulled into comparing myself to others around me and trying to fashion my own individuality, I only end up marring the original unique design that was given to me. Lovely lesson number one.
The other lesson comes in realizing that though I enjoy seeing the up close design of ONE snowflake, it is when they are “en masse” that my delight is at its peak. You’ve heard in theater of a “one man show” and that is all well and good. But if we only had a “one flake show” we would be so disappointed. When snow is forecasted, if any of us ever saw the first flake travel to earth, there would be excitement to be sure! But only because it would be the promise of more to come! Then as the number of snowflakes increases, so does our excitement, as we switch over to hushed tones of awe as the snow falls in clumps and masses so beautiful we can scarcely stand it. These individual, unique creations are made more glorious in the company they keep. The more of them traveling together, the more glory and beauty descends. Such are we…our uniqueness made more glorious TOGETHER than alone.
I don’t want to be a “one-flake show” (ha! no pun intended). Thinking of snowflakes… their individual beauty made more beautiful by their togetherness… has really helped me with my “If only…” problem. I’m reveling today in the throng of unique flakes I live with and know personally as well as those of you online flakes who have become my friends as well.
Let’s be our unique selves together and bring beauty to the world!