An hour a day

Snowflake

Master told me to write about snow. I don’t understand what he wants. Snow falls from the sky. When it melts it turns into water. It’s cold. It hurts your eyes when the wind blows it into your face. It’s white until someone walks on it. It only comes in winter and then only stays a few weeks before it melts. The snow seems to like the mountaintop since it stays on them for months and on the tallest it can stay all year.

I remember as a child I use to like making balls out of snow and then throwing then at the other boys. Except for making balls, snow seems to be mostly work. I have to shovel it off of the walkways and from the ramparts at the top of the tower. It also means that I have to chop more wood for the fire and spend more time drying clothes.

Last week the snow almost killed a young woman who was knocked down outside of our house. I wonder how many people die each winter because of the snow? I bet it hurts a lot to have the snow steal all of our heat – I know it hurts my fingers.

I’ve tried to look at snowflakes. They seem to be very detailed – with such fine detail I can’t even make out all the detail. I wonder how such detail can be built into each one.

Maybe that’s what Master wants me to see. There is so much detail in one snowflake – more detail than I can see, and more than I draw. If there is that much detail in a flake that is smaller than the tip of my little finger, how much more detail is there is everything else around me.

A snowflake is a reminder that life is detailed and I shouldn’t look over things too quickly.

Trust

Master asked me if I have learned anything about trust. I think he was talking about my adventure earlier this weeks when I had to wait. Honestly, I hadn’t thought about it in terms of trust; I was just being obedient. Now that I think about it, maybe there is something behind the obedience.

When I think about being obedient, I can think of several different reasons that I’ve been obedient in my life. When my mom tells me to do something, I do it because I love her. I know that she asks me to do things because she needs me to. When she smiles and says, “Thank you,” it make me feel good inside. When my dad used to tell me to do things, I did them because I was afraid not to. Dad never said, “Thank you,” when I did what he asked; he just expected me to do it, but if I ever didn’t do what he said, he was quick to punish me. Sometimes I do what I’m told because I know in my heart that it is the right thing to do, like when the priest says that I’m not supposed to kill. It make sense to me to follow that rule.

None of those reasons really explain why I stood in the cold when Master told me to. I like him, but I don’t really love him; not like I do my mom. I’m not afraid of him; he’s never punished me and he’s really old. It also didn’t make a lot of sense to do what he said; why should I wait out in the cold. So there must be something else – maybe it’s trust.

I do trust Master. He seems very wise and always does what he says he will. He is also very smart and has had many exciting adventures. The couple of times I doubted him, it turned out that I was the one who was wrong. I guess I am obedient to Master because I trust him – he always seems to have my best interest in mind.

Most of the time I do what he says because what he says makes sense, but when he asks me to do something that makes no sense at all, then I have to trust that he knows more than I do. I wonder if that is what Master was hoping I had learned about trust. Well, if it’s not, I trust he will let me know that, too.

Waiting

Master told me to wait. He didn’t tell me what to wait for or how long to wait – he just told me to wait. So what was I to do? I waited. I stood by the garden gate, which was where I was when he told me to wait. It was cold. I had my jacket on, but standing in the snow it was still cold. I tried to stay still, but I’m only ten. My mom once said, “Little boys were not made to be still,” – I think she’s right. I picked up a stick and started knocking the snow off of the top of the fence. It only took me ten minutes to clear all the snow off.

I tried to stand still again, but I didn’t do a very good job of it. I found myself jumping back and forth, from one leg to the other. Then the wind picked up and blew snow into my face. I turned my back to the wind – it helped a little. I listened to the wind blowing through the hood of my jacket. I imagined it was talking to me. “Why would we wait? What was wonderful when war was won? Where were we when wind went?” Then I heard another sound ­– a scraping.

I turned around and searched for the source of the sound. The snow stung my eyes as a squinted against it. All I could see was white. I strained against the swirling, blowing snow trying to see a pattern in it. All I saw was white; then I heard the scraping again amongst the roaring that the wind had become. I looked where I thought the sound had come from. I thought I could make out the building across the street.

I opened the gate and started walking toward where I had heard the sound. The wind was blowing so hard now that I was leaning into it. I shuffled my feet – being afraid that if I picked my foot up into the air I might be blown over. I kept walking until my foot hit something. I knelt down and I could make out a person on the ground.

I moved beside the body and found an arm. I pulled on the arm and got the person to stand up. I pulled the person back to the gate and then to the tower. It was easier walking back to the tower since the wind was to our backs. The person leaned heavily on me but I managed to hold the person up. We reached the door and I opened it – the wind blew us both through it. The person collapsed to the ground and I struggled to get the door closed.

The wind started blowing harder and snow started falling. I helped the stranger to the fire and added logs to it; then I went and made some tea. I found out that this stranger was a young woman who was visiting from out of town. As the storm grew stronger outside she told me of her adventures and thanked me for helping her.

When she warmed up, she fell asleep in front of the fire. I sat there and watched her for several hours while listening to the storm raging outside. I put some more logs on the fire and then I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew Master was gentling shaking my shoulder.

“Did you wait?” he asked.

“Yes Master, I did.”

“Good boy, go back to sleep.”

In the morning Master had me make breakfast for our visitor and him. After she ate she thanked me again and left – leaving me to wonder how Master had know that I had needed to wait, and if he had know what I had been waiting for. I’m glad that I listened to Master and waited. I’m also glad that I listened to my own heart and knew when it was time to stop waiting.