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10 February 2023:

This winter, we've been getting quite a bit of snow and really cold weather; at least more than we did last year. Two weeks ago as I was walking out of a meeting with two of my co-workers, it began to snow. Since I've moved out here my usual thought is a). will this be a snow day from work or b). If I am at work, let me make sure my windshield wipers on my car are up so the snow won’t stick to them and freeze. But this time was different. The air was cold enough that when the snow landed on my fleece jacket, it stayed intact and didn’t clump up or dissolve. As I looked down at the snow on my jacket, I saw something I had never seen before in my life: a snowflake.

As I stared more closely, I noticed the intricate detail it possessed. The sharp edges, angelic curvature, and the size: it was TINY! Each snowflake had so much detail and each one was no bigger than the tip of my pinky fingernail. I was in shock! I couldn't believe something that possessed this level of detail just fell in abundance from the sky. I had seen pictures and drawings of them, even had a snowflake Christmas ornament, but I had never seen one up close in real life before and in this moment, I was COVERED in them!

In my amazement, I showed my coworkers and said, "you guys, look at these snowflakes! They really do look like the pictures! I've never seen this before!" One of my coworkers said, "yep and no two snowflakes are the same" then carried on in his conversation. They weren’t on the same snowflake hype as me, lol.

As we drove back to the office I held on to my snowflake-discovery-high and replayed my encounter silently in my mind. I then thought to myself, "I would have missed this.... if I was successful in what I attempted to do to myself last July. If I was never able to get the quality care that I needed. If I had never spoke up...If I was never believed or supported or given the space to heal..... I would have never seen a snowflake or got to experience how amazing it feels to see them up close and on my body. Or go home to my husband and share with him the excitement I had for them. I would have missed everything."

I'm thankful to be in a place today to be able to recognize just how sick I had become and that what my sickness; my severe depression had been telling me all this time was in fact a lie. Life CAN be beautiful. Maybe not all at one time. Maybe not in the way I thought it should be. But maybe in a way that is truthful and freeing. It's hard to see beauty when you feel trapped, beat down, exhausted, unsafe, unprotected, disconnected and don't know what it feels like to be free. The snowflakes gave me a reminder of just how beautiful life can be ❄️.

Photo: A snowman head I walked by on my way to work

Photo: Snow in the trees and in my hair!


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