Yesterday I saw my first proper snowflake. Bt which I mean, it was snowing fairly heavily outside, so we all went out to try to catch snowflakes on our tongues (which is a most excellent, if slightly chilly, activity). And then The Dude held out his hand and a snowflake glided in and landed gently on his glove. It stayed there a few moments as I studied the sheer beauty of something so small, so seemingly insignificant. And then it melted. But it will always be in my memory, a little spiky homage to the cold.
I always thought that snow was a bit of a black or white kind of thing – you loved it or you hated it. I know that dividing people into snow-lovers and snow-haters is fairly arbitrary and pointless. But then so are some of the reasons we have for being snow-lovers and snow-haters.
We love the snow because it makes everything look so different, beautifully glistening in the sunshine, highlighting the lines of walls and tree branches, hiding the uneven patches in the ground. We love it because we can go sledging, build snowmen, feel like adventurers just by stepping out of our own front doors. We love it because suddenly the cold doesn’t matter so much.
We hate it because we get caught out. We hate it because it reminds us how cold it is, how far away summer is. We hate it because we can’t drive fast, or live fast, because we have to drive and walk carefully, and think twice before popping down to the shops. We hate it because it makes the busses late, and our takeaway delivery late too. We hate it because it melts to a slush, and then ruins our nice suede boots.
We love it because it changes the way we look at our lives. We hate it because it changes the way we live our lives.
Of course it’s not as simple as that. Of course we can slip from one group to the other. Of course “love” and “hate” are at the extremes, and many of us are somewhere in the middle. But we say it anyway, in our groups huddled outside the school gate, or stamping our feet as we walk into work. We say we love it, or we hate it, when really it’s a bit more complicated than that.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret. There are people in this world that are a little like the snow – they provoke a strong response. We love them because they change the way we look at our lives. We don’t like them because they don’t fit in our lives. We would have to change the way we live if they were a part of our lives.
So this is my question. You don’t have a choice about the snow. You do have a choice about the people. Given the choice, would you let the snow (people) into your life?
This post is a response the following prompt from Kickstarting Creativity: Black and white often implies that there is only one interpretation of a thing, but many moments of genius have been created when we realise that there are many more perspectives than just our own.