What we’ve Seen. What we’ve Done. What we’ve Learned.
In the eyes of most, they are just that: snowflakes. Nothing but a whirl of white flakes that fall from the December sky, of which hundreds of kids gaze upon with wide eyes.
But for others, snowflakes are more than that.
To me, snowflakes represent humanity as a gathering of nature that, by itself, appears to be nothing, yet when combined with its peers, becomes magic.
A snowflake twirls down from the sky and finds its way onto my eyelash as another one lands on my tongue, where I gracefully welcome the winter that surrounds me. My boots crush the snow below me, resulting in a moderaly loud crunch while a few joined snowflakes flutter up behind me. Due to their minusculale form, they are easily forgotten about.
Suddenly, the dependable crunches of my boots comes to a halt, and a softer, more delicate, noise is replaced for a short moment. As I look down, I see a piece of paper that blends in with the whiteness of the snow so perfectly that I almost did not recognize it.
I slowly bring the note to my eyes. It reads, To those who truly take notice of the world around them, you have been gifted with a do-over. Come back before the year is over with the one thing you wish to go back and turn all around written on this paper.
For a moment, I only stare at this paper, suspicious of the “do-over.” Turn back time? Impossible, it must be a prank. Physically changing events that have already occurred is nothing but science fiction.
In spite of that, though, a part of me wishes to humor the note, whether it is a joke or an unexplainable gift, for what is the harm in doing so?
My mind is immediately drawn to just a few days ago, when I was caught with my phone in my room. Yes, it was against the rules, but in the greater scheme of things, what did rules matter? I was only reading.
To my father, rules mattered. It was as if I had committed a crime because, in his eyes, I had, resulting in me sitting here, staring at a strange note, phoneless.
But while on the subject of the greater scheme of things, will eliminating my crime really make an impact? There must be larger matters at hand. Moreover, the event was inevitable, more or less, so prank or not, this do-over would be worthless.
I then remember myself three years ago in the school play, where I performed with a slight growl on my face because I was upset that I had such a tiny role.
Truth be told, I was one of the youngest, meaning that, according to the school norms, I was lucky to even be in the school play, but based on my audition, I knew that I did not deserve such a small role. Though my slight growl throughout the performance moderately fit with my character at some points, it has haunted me to this day, preventing me from having any bigger role than that.
That would be a good do-over, wouldn’t it?
But I must think of the repercussions, as I’ve watched more than enough time travel shows to know that the slightest change in the past could result in the present being even worse.
Theoretically, if I manage to travel back in time and prevent myself from expressing even the slightest of me being upset, what will my school play career look like? Will I have been offered larger roles? I may not have been.
That would result in an even larger fiasco.
And if I am offered larger roles, what—no, who—would I be? An egotistical thespian? I am probable to make the same mistake, just like my mistake about my phone only a few days ago.
The part of me that expressed my dismay will always be inside of me and is bound to come out eventually. In my current situation, I have already learned from it. Perhaps it is best to leave that as it is, or I may come back and find myself someone that I do not like.
I move on and travel back to third grade, where a skiing accident resulted in a broke leg, preventing me from participating in Field Day. Fixing something physical such as a broken leg would only result in a better physical shape, would it not?
Yet the more I come to think of it, a broken leg, as physically painful as it was, taught me something about myself as well, just like everything else.
As I sat on the sidelines of the field and cheered my peers on in a tug-of-war game in addition to other varying activities, I became more humble and a better teammate, even if I was not aware of it. I assisted in hobbling water bottles over towards the water station and shouted encouragement during the races, even for the opposite team.
And again, I’m forced to wonder who I would be if not for that.
The broken leg was painful, yes, just like expressing my distress during the school pay was consequential. I am even partially glad that my father confiscated my phone when he did.
My mind goes all the way back to when I name-called in preschool. Now I stand up to those people instead of being one of those people.
Perhaps this note is a prank. Perhaps it is not. Either way, it has given me the opportunity to reflect on who I am. A life without pain might seem ideal, but then, what is the point? These things make us who we are—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am lucky to have learned so many lessons young.
As I return the note to the snowy land where I found it in hopes that it will assist someone else just as I, a snowflake peacefully lands on top of it, and I smile. I know what goes into snowflakes.
Now I know what goes into me.
I wasn’t aware of it before, but snowflakes and humans are much more closely related than many are aware. Our past makes us who we are, even if we don’t know it. The same is true for snowflakes, which are formed by a mixture of frozen water droplets and particles and dust and crystals and millions of other factors that we don’t even know.
Those millions of other factors are what make snowflakes so unique.
Just like us.
If you remove one event from our past, such as if one removes a particle from a snowflake’s formation, we will not recognize ourselves. And if one manages to replicate someone else’s lives, we will all be the same, and if we are all the same, then we are nothing.
Perhaps these flaws are the meaning of each day. They make us better, and at first, one might not appreciate them, but when really taking a look at everything, you might then realize how everything is connected.
We should be take greater time to be thankful for snowflakes. They are so small yet are so amazing, composed of all of these things that we haven’t even begun to realize.
Just like you and me.
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