Sunday, November 6, 2011

Winterlings 1 - The Legend of the Snow Angel

As children, we knew Snow Angels as magical little snow shadows that were created in the first real snow of winter when the laughter and delight of children filled the air.  If you have forgotten, here is the recipe:

The secret to making an angel in the snow is to drop carefully backwards into the deep snow with arms by your sides
and legs tight together, straight as a board.  Once in the snow, lie there stiffly and carefully create the wings by raising
arms outspread up to the shoulders and back to your sides again, rigidly flapping them up and down again and again
(3 times is the charm).  Then sweep your legs wide apart, out to the sides and back to the center to make the skirt of the
gown.  A friend should help you up gently and then you need to spin back around to see how perfectly your "angel" looks.
Satisfied that the job is complete, it is time to run off across the snow drifts and up the hills with your sled, satisfied that the tradition and ritual were satisfactorily performed.

However, the little snow angel is soon forgotten.

As the sunlight fades and the twilight begins to dim the light of the day, mothers call to their children to come home to dinner and change out of their wet, snowy clothes and warm their tummies with a hot bubbling stew, steaming biscuits and giggles and laughter as the day's adventures are retold around the family dinner table.  After dinner, the children are gently coaxed off to bed to burrow beneath mountains of soft snuggly blankets and quilts and cuddle in nests of pillows and teddy bears.  They soon slip off to sleep after warm kisses and good-night hugs.

Yet the little snow angel lies still and stoically with wings outstretched in a frozen pose.  As the moon slips silently higher and higher into the crisp clear sky, a soft glittery shower of sparkling magical moonbeams float lightly toward the ground, creating a delicate glow in the little depressions of the sleeping snow angels on the ground below.  A soft halo of windblown snow swirls and curls into a cloud of glowing crystals and suddenly all is still and there stands a real Snow Angel in the imprint left by the child earlier in the day.

A newborn Snow Angel wastes no time but immediately begins its appointed rounds.  Its duties are simple ... to collect and safeguard all lost and abandoned as well as new and shiny wishes and dreams of its special child.  These wishes and dreams are placed lovingly in its little bag which it carries over its shoulder.  It will protect them and keep them safe until the day comes when that child needs and is ready to have his or her wishes and dreams fulfilled.  Then, one by one, as each wish or dream is released, the little angel begins to fade.  When its little bag is finally empty, its job on Earth is done.  The Snow Angel goes back to live behind the wishing stars until the next new snowfall.  When it hears that special laughter after a child has pressed a snow angel into the freshly fallen snow, the Snow Angel smiles and on a moonbeam, it returns to collect more wishes to hold safely until its new child's heart has fulfilled its precious dreams.

Snow Angel
Snow Angel

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