As I was walking in to work the other morning, acclimating myself to the upcoming winter weather, my vision suddenly went blurry in my left eye. For a split-second, the hypochondria (in remission) spoke up – “Eh? Vision problems”? One pair of crossed eyes later, however, and I saw that it was a splot of snow on my glasses.
I took them off to clean them, and found one single, huge, PERFECT snowflake sitting on my lens. Six long arms, delicate spikes and fuzzy edges. The glasses were cold enough to keep the flake intact and preserved. I fished out my phone to try and get a picture, but couldn’t get far enough away to focus, yet close enough to get the flake to show. Plus, I only had one hand to manipulate the camera, and it was cold.
So, I shrugged and put my glasses back on. No way was I going to destroy this beautiful flake. I remained aware of the beauty just in front of my eye, and it kept me company as I finished my walk, crossed the street, and approached the back door of my work building.
As I reached for the door, I realized that this was about the end for the flake, but there was nothing I could do about it. I had my journey to continue. I stepped inside, took off my glasses, and there it was again – a simple thing of natural beauty, stuck to my lens. As I felt the warmth of the building thawing the tip of my nose, I said “I’m sorry” to the flake, and watched it – the tips of each arm melted, and the whole form quickly collapsed into the tiniest drop of water.
Yes, I apologized to a snowflake. It seemed the thing to do at the time. You won’t catch me apologizing to a whole snowbank in a month, but that one single flake brought a moment of mindfulness to my day where I hadn’t expected it, and I felt the need to acknowledge it.