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Memory feeds imagination | Come out of the circle of time


 Snow is not the same as rain, though it is the same element. When appreciating precipitation, you must take the temperature into account! Where I live, a snowfall is an unexpected and welcome event; on other areas, it is an annoyance.

In order to do this exercise, you need to actually have a snowfall, so if you live where there's not a lot of snow, you can skip it until you do have snow.

First, sit inside the nice, warm house, and just watch the snow. Notice how the flakes fall. Are they fine, drifting flakes that sink slowly to the ground? Are they fat, heavy flakes that plop onto the ground? Are they some combination? How do they collect once they've hit ground? Do they light and melt almost immediately? Do they pile up and cover everything in a soft, white blanket? Do they blow about?

Once you feel that you have appreciated the way the snow looks from inside, step outside. Take a deep breath of the cold, crisp air. The air during a snowstorm always seems cleaner somehow. Notice the smell -- snow smells cleaner as well. Is the air damp or dry? Is it windy or still? Does the air cut through your clothing, or does it almost seem to be warmer than the thermometer says?

Step out into the falling snow. Now, you can appreciate the sight of the the snow from a new angle. Look up into the snow. What does the sky look like? Do the gray clouds seem far away, or does it seem almost as if you could reach out and touch them? Is the entire sky covered, or can you see any blue? What do the flakes look like from underneath? Does the pattern of snowfall seem changed when you are out in it, as opposed to from inside?

What does it sound like in the snow storm? Can you hear any wind, or is it so quiet it seems eerie? Can you hear the flakes hitting the ground?

What does the snow feel like when you step into it? Is it deep enough to squeak, or is it so cold that it holds your weight without sinking? Does it stick together, or is it "dry" snow that won't pack?  Hold out a hand and catch some snow. What does it feel like?  Is it cold and damp, or is it so dry that you can barely tell it's on your skin? Gather a bit and try to pack it together? Can you make a little ball, or does the snow fall apart when you squeeze?

See if you can catch a snowflake on your tongue. What does it taste like?

If the snow is deep enough, you can make a snowman, or a snow angel. Appreciation often involves a return to childhood!

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November 2013


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