I’ve heard and read that the Arctic tribes have over a hundred words for “snow,” reportedly to distinguish between the various types. Of course, I’ve also heard that the good old days were much better than today so I take that report with a small dose of skepticism. Might be the Eskimo only have twenty different words but there’s a lot of variation in the spelling, you know?
What I do know is that the type that briefly fell here in Ark city last evening is what my brother Paul and I used to call “fertilizer snow.” If you’ve ever ripped open a few 50-pound bags of ammonium nitrate or Triple-Twelve and dumped them into planter hoppers, you know what I mean. Actually, if you’ve opened just one 5-pound bag to topdress a small section of lawn, you probably know. All those tiny white pellets, sized somewhere between buckshot and BB’s, small and round and hard.
That’s the snow that we had last night. Tiny, little, hard frozen pellets. Hail without the ambition. Kind of useless for snowballs and sculpture. More like sleet, really. Not the classic beauty of the romantic flake that catches on the eyelid of your lover. Not the stuff that forms miles of winter wonderland. But snow nonetheless.
Kind of like the gruffy old codger who apparently came from a different mold, one that we genuinely hope was broken immediately thereafter. The drummer who beats to a different march. The eighty-year-old widow who will shovel her own dang sidewalk, thank you very much.
No matter how little we think the other folks are like us, they’re still folks. Still made in the image of our Creator. Still the neighbor we were taught to love. Before we get too carried away with what beautiful fluffy flakes we are, might be good for us to consider that the God who made us also causes the sun to rise on the just and the unjust.
Once we’ve melted, we’re all just water.