Shake Flap Flutter Fly

It’s snowing.

Big flakes, little flakes, and every size in between.

And, it’s sticking – to everything.

After only 10 minutes, rooftops are white and the grass is covered.

And, still it falls.


I sit before a window and gaze out on my back yard.  High in a neighbor’s tree I see a small flock of birds. Their movement draws my attention from the falling snow.

Completely still – and then they flutter upward only to settle back down into the tree.  Again and again they do this.

I wonder why.

And, then I realize – the snow is sticking to EVERY THING.

I imagine it would be difficult to fly carrying even a small amount of snow on your back.  And, with snowfall like this I understand their constant flitting about.

Rain rolls off a bird’s back.  But, snow? I wonder.

I’ve never seen a snow encrusted bird.  But, in snowfall like this I would think anything that stayed still for any length of time would quickly take on a layer of snow.  Even birds.

They cope by ruffling feathers, flapping wings – whatever it takes to shake off what threatens to burden them – ah, and by flying away.

In my youth, I marveled at the burden snow was to adults. I was free to enjoy it – mine a love/hate relationship.  I loved to see it come and hated to see it go.

As an adult, I marvel that children are not out reveling in it. (Perhaps they, like me, are watching from a window, hoping we get enough for a snowman before the temperature warms and rain begins.

No longer free to simply enjoy it, my youthful love/hate relationship has become more love/hate/love/hate – I love to watch it fall, hate the burdens/concerns it brings, I love to see it go, but,hate that I’ve lost the ability to truly enjoy it.

I feel like the birds – “Oh! It’s snowing!”…flap, flutter, ruffle, flap, flap, flutter…”What a burden!”…”How can I get out of it?”…and then I fly away.

This morning, I’m perched by my window, protected and warm as I watch the snow fall. I’m reliving snowfalls of my youth and rejoicing in the exuberance I felt – the sheer joy of reveling in everything about it.

I’m light and carefree, if only for a moment, as my thoughts fly upward in thanks for the care-free childhood I enjoyed – and, yes, for my parents who silently bore the burden of the snow (and of so much more) so I could be free to make these memories that I now enjoy.

  • snowcream
  • snowmen
  • frosty fingers
  • red toes
  • icicle
  • crunch underfoot
  • footprints in fresh snow
  • the hush of snowfall
  • the soft pat it makes as it falls
  • sled runners on ice
  • wet gloves
  • snowball fights
  • slipping and sliding
  • falling and getting back up only to fall again
  • the whine of tires spinning
  • tires squishing through slush
  • cola over snow
  • snow angels
  • school snow days
  • the hill across the street
  • toboggans
  • snow encrusted clothes
  • stocking hats pulled over ears
  • the sting of a snowball meeting bare, frozen cheek
  • a brother who was willing to get just as miserably cold as I was

I break from my mental wandering through past snowfalls and gaze once again in present tense.

Snow no longer falls. The birds have returned to their tree top perch.  The sky is brightening.  Still, no children venture out – all is quiet.  Perhaps they still sleep – it’s only 8:15…on Saturday.

I want to walk outside and shout “HEY, WAKE UP!  IT SNOWED!! GO MAKE SOME MEMORIES!” But, I don’t. It’s 26 degrees.  The snow that’s fallen isn’t going anywhere before afternoon.  There’s time.


Time for me to rise from my window overlooking the backyard and check the street out front.

Wow! It’s white – covered with snow.  That’s okay.  I’ve no need to go anywhere.

May I ever be mindful to treat that which threatens to weigh me down like the birds did the snowfall this morning. Shake off the burdens.  Flap away concerns. Flutter until I feel light enough to fly. And, fly to a better place.

Shake. Flap. Flutter. Fly.

And, fly I do – back to the coffeepot for my 3rd cup of coffee.

And, more time in front of the window.  It’s snowing again!


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