Crystal City

Having lived in North Carolina for the past ten years, it came to my attention quite early in the decade that NC simply does not receive a lot of snow during the wintertime. Almost every year, I have had to go through much disappointment from looking out the window and realizing that I will be having a snowless holiday season. Approximately three out of the ten years that I have lived here have I seen snow on the Southern grounds of North Carolina.

This is my eleventh year living in North Carolina. On Friday night, I looked outside and my eyes widened with disbelief. Everywhere, little specks of “white fluffy stuff” (quoted from a friend named Kyler) were flurrying madly all around. Indeed, the weatherman had done us justice, which is saying a lot considering the fact that he’d broken his promise of snow a few weeks ago. Only a couple hours later, my entire lawn was invisible underneath a soft bed of snow. Car windshields were covered, as were the roofs of houses, mailboxes, and driveways.

The snow has been a real joy this weekend and has seemed to make everything else much more magical. Not only did I get into one of my dream universities, but my sister was able to spend the weekend (she lives out of town) AND I got to go to one of my favorite restaurants. As a plus, I had one day off of school and will have a 2-hour delay tomorrow. I think snow can definitely work wonders sometimes. :P

But really. There’s just something about snow that makes it so magical…perhaps it’s the fact that we don’t get to see it everyday, or even every month or year, or perhaps it’s the fact that there’s the possibility it may come when we least expect it or doubt it the most…..and yet the day comes when we jump for happiness and enjoy it to the fullest.

It has been less than 30 degrees here, so everything completely froze. For the past few days, my backyard has been an ICE RINK!!! The trees and bushes have all been frozen solid, and not just in my neighborhood but all over town. Once the streets were embedded with salt and were safe enough to drive on, my dad and I drove around. Our town had transformed into a Crystal City. You could literally see the trees and bushes all sparkling. I found a leaf trapped, embedded within a stone of ice. Twigs were also in the same, wondrous form. It was like the whole town was shining with icicles, glass trees, and other crystal decor. It was so beautiful. My father raised an interesting question: Why is it that the plants don’t die when they are frozen into ice?

I thank Mother Nature for giving me this chance to experience the wonders of natural processes. It may another year or two or three before I get to watch snow fall peacefully from the sky once again, but I will always remember the Crystal City that, in an ironic sort of way, unveiled before my eyes.

Nature is truly amazing. I believe that, to truly learn about loving life, you need to first appreciate your natural surroundings. After all, without nature there would be nothing. We would be nothing. I feel like in today’s society, many people are too caught up in our own technological world, busy with their work schedules and catching up with birthdays and attending soccer tournaments. We fail to ever stop and truly take a look at where we are and wonder about the little things, like how a simple green leaf frozen in transparent ice can look so naturally beautiful.

So I propose a challenge: next time you walk outside, use all of your senses to truly take in your environment. What do you smell, and why do you enjoy or dislike that smell? What sounds do you hear–what do you think about when you hear that dog barking or that kid yelling for his mom in excitement? What in front of you do you see? Take time to appreciate the presence of color, and realize that without your eyes you would be incapable of seeing anything. Feel the sweater you are wearing, and think of the texture. When you’re eating, don’t do like my sister does and gobble the whole thing in two bites. Really savor all the flavors; feel the strawberry tanginess clash with the cool whipped cream.

Close your eyes and just imagine. Make up mini stories with all of the sights, smells, sounds, and tastes you just took in. Embrace. And truly appreciate what it feels like to live.

~The Red Angel


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