Snow is piling on boughs and rooftops.
It's hard to imagine that there is not one snowflake in the world that is like the other. Each crystal creation is a miracle of time and temperature, formed for the moment and then absorbed into the great rolling structures of white winter.
A snowflake is like a human life, or any life for that matter. Every one is entirely different. Snowflakes are each different because they are the result of several different crystals which have come together through simple circumstance. The ice crystals, or perhaps genetic characteristics, if thinking about people or other life, form that one unique snowflake, which is then further shaped and transformed as it drifts through the air, just as children are transformed as they go through life and have their own experiences—a process which continues through all the days of their lives.
Life is a dance of many different events, some sad and some wonderful, and each of those experiences leaves its own mark on the person, thus forming individuals. Each of the close to eight billion people in the world are completely different from each other because of their genetic characteristics and their unique experiences of place, time and circumstance which made them completely different from anyone else before or after.
These many billions are preceded by billions more through all the history of mankind.
Yet somehow, we manage to be similar enough that we hold together in families, groups, communities, nations and around the world.
Snowflakes too are like this. When looking around a winter landscape, it is amazing to think of the uncountable snowflakes that have gathered there at that place to form that beautiful scene.
What is also of note, is that it needs to be cold for these snowflakes to exist, and to hold together. Is it actually the challenges that hold people together? Is it the need for cooperation, companionship, safety, and shared problem-solving that holds people together? Do we not show our most wonderful qualities when challenges are greatest? It's just a question.
Temperature, moisture, patterns of air all affect the outcome of the snowflake, just as the experiences of life affect us and bring us together in our own groups, families, and communities.
This lovely winter, which is now dramatized by what is likely the most brilliant moon of this decade, is like no other, while there have been winters these many billions of years, and snowscapes covering the planet in many different places. Each is unique, and each is challenging, and each is beautiful.
It's a thought to reflect on this winter night, as a year comes to an end and a new beginning nears.
Every human being is a miracle that has arisen out of unlimited possibilities. These possibilities are always in motion, and change shapes each of us to be our own unique selves.
Together, we are more, but always take the time to look closely, because every individual is something exquisitely beautiful.