We have only this moment…melting like a snowflake

Growing up in the north country of New York State, I know all about snow. Big snows.
Snowblowers, snowballs, and snow forts. White-outs. Being snowbound for days and driving through snow tunnels with 12-foot banks on each side of the road. Lake-effect snows.
Unlike Lake Superior, which freezes over late in the winter, Lake Ontario never freezes over. Thus, when the wind blows from west to east, it picks up the warm moisture over the lake and dumps it on my hometown as ice and snow.
The north country can get as much as 350 inches of snow in a winter season. And the all-time record came from a snow spotter for the U.S. National Weather Service, who measured 77 inches in one 24-hour period in 1997.
That’s six-and-a-half feet in one day!
But still, I love snow. I’m never happier than when we get snow in the centre of the United States. Especially, in the springtime. And that’s what happened last week.
The fall of snow, said British writer J. B. Priestley, is always “a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found?”
After a three-inch snowfall, last Sunday was an enchanting day. And I enjoyed every minute of it.
Everything was so clean and white and pure. The sky was a beautiful bright blue with large white clouds. From my window, I could see a squirrel on a snowy branch reaching the unreachable bird feeder. I felt sorry for him.
There’s something special about a late snowstorm. After the crocuses are up and threatening to blossom . . . after being accustomed to springtime warmth . . . then, comes snow.
But beautiful as it is, we know for sure the snow won’t last.
This poignant certainty makes me think of a quote from Marie Ray, “Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand—and melting like a snowflake.”
We know that life is short, but sometimes we forget how short it is. A melting snowflake doesn’t last very long. Spring comes and the biggest snows melt.
That’s why you have to begin right now what you want to finish. Do you want to write your autobiography? Type the chapter titles right now. Do you want to spend more time with your grandchildren? Call right now and invite a special grandchild for the weekend.
Do you want to plan a special garden? Look at the seed catalogues tonight. Do you want to go to Europe? Check the Web for special prices today.
Do you want to be closer to your friends? Plan a party. Do you dream of long afternoons reading in the summer sun with a cup of coffee by your chair? Go to the library and check out a book today and buy a bag of gourmet coffee.
Only you know what your dream is. The important thing is to get started right now. Remember, life is short. You have only this moment, sparkling like a star in your hand—and melting like a snowflake.
Don’t waste it.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist.

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