Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snowflake Artist

I treated myself to coffee this morning. It was 8:45 and I stopped by the locally-owned Dunn Brothers on my way to work. A chocolate steamed nirvana, they call it. Espresso, chocolate, steamed milk, it was a mocha deluxe.

My window was rolled down still from the exchange of money, awaiting my coffee, but it didn’t feel too cold since the car heater was pumping out air beside me. Tiny snowflakes swirled in my window and landed on my car door. Feathery sequins sparkled on the grey door, stacking and piling on each other like slippery books. Suddenly a single flake caught my attention, since it had completed the fall unharmed. In a flawless circle, smaller than a pencil eraser, six perfect lines crisscrossed each other across the flake in impeccable symmetry. I peered down to get a better look. The symmetry was unblemished, and the artistry soon lost for any human eyes to see unmagnified. The beauty astounded me, until a voice asked, “What are you staring at?” Grinning and a bit embarrassed to have been peering so intently at my own door, I answered simply, “A beautiful snowflake,” took my coffee and left.

What an extravagant artist, I mused! With masterpieces just dripping from his fingertips that he could swirl paintings left and right, little caring that they would fly off my window or melt into oblivion on my car door. He created for the sheer sake of his own joy and glory, his masterpieces reflecting himself to the world. Snowflakes poised on my window for an instant before tumbling away.

A dear friend of mine is in the hospital poised on eternity as well. She is a grandma and has lived a long life. She knows the Master Artist and has joined him in his art at times. Her masterpieces are in stained glass pieces, children’s lives, adopted kids along the way, and a life of hard work and loyalty. I have hugged her, prayed with her, read the Artist’s letters to her, and told her how much I love her.

Now she too is poised on eternity, her beauty sparkling in the sun, bringing delight to those who see, and pointing to the Artist. Any minute, I know, she too will swirl away.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Snow Storms and Roaring Race Cars

"I wish it would snow so much that we would be snowed in for days!" my son has long exclaimed. Finally over Christmas this year, he got his wish! Our state was getting predictions of 18-20 inches of snow for Christmas Eve and day. Not wanting to get snowed in and miss out on time with extended family, my husband urged me to quickly pack so we could depart before the storm. Rushing around to leave two days earlier, we threw in clothes, bagged the presents, and loaded up on pineapples, mangoes, and other special fruits to share.

The two hour drive up north went smoothly. Our family of five giggled and laughed at the roaring car toys in the back of the van that chugged to life at every bump in the road. "Oooh, low and slow!" begged one green race car. Another blue race car urged us to "Show some respect, man!" in a great Latino accent, as we bumped over the highway. We laughed at our talkative kids' toys in the trunk, and hoped the batteries wouldn't wear out before the gifts were delivered to our little nephews.

Due to budget shortcuts, the storm and normal holiday days, we were thrilled to be able to spend ten days away, relishing family, thick snow drifts, chocolate truffles, and great times as a family!