What Snowflakes Sing

It is pretty wellknown that we Birds are responsible for bringing our native Minnesota’s snowy weather with us out to Colorado this year. Colorado Springs had a couple heavy snowfalls last week while Minnesota, which last year had about 3 feet at this point, has nothing much to speak of.

Sorry, or, Thank you. Take whichever you prefer.

Have you ever looked at a snowflake? My sister has this coffe table book called Snowflakes: Featuring the Amazing Micro-Photography of Kenneth Libbrecht. This is the first year that I have actually looked through the whole thing. Breathtaking.

(See more about the subject at www.SnowCrystals.com)

original photo: Kenneth Libbrecht

Throughout the book there are a number of quotes.  Allow me to share some with you.

AND HERE COMES THE SNOW, A LANGUAGE IN WHICH NO WORD IS EVER REPEATED.

William Mathews (1942-1997),
an American poet and essayist

original photo: Kenneth Libbrecht

“THE QUESTION IS NOT WHAT YOU LOOK AT, BUT WHAT YOU SEE.”

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862),
American author, naturalist, pacifist, philosopher, and transcendentalist

original photo: Kenneth Libbrecht

“IF I HAD INFLUENCE WITH THE GOOD FAIRY WHO IS SUPPOSED TO PRESIDE OVER THE CHRISTENING OF ALL CHILDREN, I SHOULD ASK THAT HER GIFT TO EACH CHILD IN THE WORLD BE A SENSE OF WONDER SO INDESTRUCTIBLE THAT IT WOULD LAST THROUGHOUT LIFE. “

Rachel Carson (1907-1964),
writer, scientist, and ecologist from Pennsylvania

original photo: Kenneth Libbrecht

“THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING WE CAN EXPERIENCE IS THE MYSTERIOUS.  IT IS THE SOURCE OF ALL TRUE ART AND SCIENCE.  HE TO WHOM THIS EMOTION IS A STRANGER, WHO CAN NO LONGER PAUSE TO WONDER AND STAND RAPT IN AWE, IS AS GOOD AS DEAD: HIS EYES ARE CLOSED.”

Stanislaw Ulam (1909-1984),
Polish mathematician

original photo: Kenneth Libbrecht

“NATURE DOES NOTHING USELESSLY.”

Aristotle (394 BC – 322 BC),
Greek philosopher

original photos: Kenneth Libbrecht

“ONE CANNOT FIX ONE’S EYES ON THE COMMONEST NATURAL PRODUCTION WITHOUT FINDING FOOD FOR A RAMBLING FANCY.”

Jane Austen (1775-1817), English novelist

original photo: Kenneth Libbrecht

“IN ALL THINGS OF NATURE THERE IS SOMETHING OF THE MARVELOUS.”

 – Aristotle

original photo: Kenneth Libbrecht

 “NEW BEAUTY MEETS US AT EVERY STEP IN ALL OUR WANDERINGS.”

John Muir (1838-1914),
Scottish-American  naturalist, author, and preservationist

original photo: Kenneth Libbrecht

 “THE PURSUIT OF TRUTH AND BEAUTY IS A SPHERE OF ACTIVITY IN WHICH WE ARE PERMITTED TO REMAIN CHILDREN ALL OUR LIVES.”

Albert Einstein (1879-1955),
German-born theoretical physicist

original photo: Kenneth Libbrecht

 “THEY SAY THAT EVERY SNOWFLAKE IS DIFFERENT.
IF THAT WERE TRUE, HOW COULD THE WORLD GO ON?
HOW COULD WE EVER GET UP OFF OUR KNEES?
HOW COULD WE EVER RECOVER FROM THE WONDER OF IT?”

Jeanette Winterson (b. 1959),
English author

photo: Naomi Bird

 “THOSE WHO DWELL AMONG THE BEAUTIES AND MYSTERIES OF THE EARTH ARE NEVER ALONE OR WEARY OF LIFE.”
– Rachel Carson
photo: Naomi Bird
 “NO SNOWFLAKE EVER FALLS IN THE WRONG PLACE.”
– Zen Proverb

photo: Naomi Bird

“NOT WHAT WE HAVE, BUT WHAT WE ENJOY, CONSTITUTES OUR ABBUNDANCE.”
Jean Antoine Petit-Senn (1792-1870),
French-Swiss poet
Pike’s Peak through the trees. From my sister’s sidewalk.
Snowflakes are so insanely complex, and yet most of them never get noticed.
Does that make them any less beautiful?
One who writes only in her journal, never published or even read by another, may still write the poetry or prose of breathtaking depth.  One who only ever sings in te shower, or in the car, or to a baby, may sing strains of free and passionate grace beyond any Domingo, or Andrews, or, even, Gaga.  One who fingers the chords of a well-known tune on the white and black keys, in an empty home, is making something beautiful. Perhaps the greatest artists have never been discovered – whatever “greatest” means.
All I know is that there is something crazy, amazing, and bafflingh about the reality that most snowflakes, no matter how beautiful, symmetrical, and intricate, fall and melt unnoticed.  Some happen to fall on your sleeve.  Which ones, do you think, are more beautiful?

4 Comments

  1. “THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING WE CAN EXPERIENCE IS THE MYSTERIOUS. IT IS THE SOURCE OF ALL TRUE ART AND SCIENCE. HE TO WHOM THIS EMOTION IS A STRANGER, WHO CAN NO LONGER PAUSE TO WONDER AND STAND RAPT IN AWE, IS AS GOOD AS DEAD: HIS EYES ARE CLOSED.” Amazing quote! So true!

    Reply

    1. Thanks for your comment, Carol. They are amazing indeed. On the day that you posted that we were enjoying a long snow here – enough to make some vanilla snowcream with the kiddos. Not only do those flake look amazing – add some milk, sugar, and vanilla, and they taste pretty good too 🙂

      Reply

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