Let it Snow

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The customary snowflake hung above the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Fifty-seventh Street in Manhattan. Photo by Esha Samajpati. All rights reserved ©

The wind is howling outside, the DOT plows are rumbling as they try to clear the roads and nearby the coffee brewer growls softly. Through the glass doors of our deck, I see the white fluff from last night’s snowstorm. Comfortable and warm, I browse through the news most of it dedicated to last night’s blizzard, the inconvenience (if you are outdoors) and beauty (if you are indoors) of it all.

Regular contributor to The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik writes about snowflakes in a piece titled All Alike. Even before reading the article, I was aghast. I have always looked at snowflakes as something magical. No two are alike or so we were told. I tried catching a few on my tongue last night making my throat tingle in the process. Now I find this article.

As it turns out, I have been jumping to conclusions. Here’s an excerpt:

“As a snowflake falls, it tumbles through many different environments,” an Australian science writer named Karl Kruszelnicki explains. “So the snowflake that you see on the ground is deeply affected by the different temperatures, humidities, velocities, turbulences, etc, that it has experienced on the way.” Snowflakes start off all alike; their different shapes are owed to their different lives.

Whew! If you read the entire article you will see how Gopnik digs deeper and reaches a far profound thought. As for me, I was just worried about the uniqueness of something as exquisite as a snowflake.