Snowflake is about being aware of and thankful for the unexpected gift of beautiful things.
While Nature shivers or sleeps, Water creates wondrous art in the form of the minute crystals we call snowflakes and it does so for no reason at all since much of it goes unnoticed and unappreciated. It is beauty that is meaningless for eyes that can’t see it, or hearts that are not moved by it. Why such senseless beauty?
Beauty needs no reason to be created or to exist. Most snowflakes are not as symmetrical as the ideal six branched shapes we are so fond of replicating in our winter-themed designs, but there is still artistry in their unique, fantastic, kaleidoscopic variety. Beauty does not need to be perfect to be beautiful.
Beauty inspires many emotions. I remember a time in Toronto, when I was shivering as I waited for a bus for what seemed like an eternity, but I soon noticed the snowflakes that were covering my sleeves. The tiny crystals that fell so softly on me were so pretty that they distracted my mind from the frigid weather that was making me so miserable: at that moment, their fleeting beauty felt like an act of kindness.
Perhaps that is why I came to associate snowflakes with the gentle side of beauty. Perhaps it is also because I remember feeling fortunate and grateful when I once caught a glimpse of another soft vision of beauty as a gentle doe foraged through snowy woodlands while snowflakes melted on its dark wet nose.
Science’s cold facts tell us that at a certain temperature water vapour condenses to form ice crystals, but for me the idea that Water seemed to manifest a sort of kindness in the shape of a lovely snowflake, made me smile. Beauty can warm the heart and make you forget hardship even if it is just a fleeting sensation of wonder, awe and gratitude.
Water creates an instant of beauty that soon dissolves itself, yet something remains. It may be as insubstantial as a soon forgotten feeling, yet it adds something precious to my life.
The heedless beauty of snowflakes reminds me of Anne Herbert’s now famous phrase: “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty ”. I think that perhaps senseless beauty is sometimes also random kindness.
When you think of it, isn’t it wonderful how in the midst of cold and harsh conditions, Water brightens us with its sparkling little gems? Just imagine how much better the world would be if we also sprinkled tiny bits of beauty and kindness in all kinds of shape and form when things get tough or miserable.
© Francesca Profili 2015
Print on canvas: 18.5 x 44.9 inches (47 x 114 cm)
Price: $282 USD stretched (on 1.5" stretchers) or $207 USD rolled.
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