Songs for Christmas, #6: “White-Woven Water”

Josiah Johnson Hawes, Boston Common Snow Scene, 1850s, via the National Gallery of Art, open access

“White-Woven Water”
A prose poem

Observing snow, one observes wonder. Every single snowflake differs from another. They drift from a gloomy sky and land in a delightful disarray. I doubt—with all the snowflakes that have fallen since Creation or the Flood or whenever snow began—that not even a single one has shaped itself the same as some other flake in history. However, God does truly shape every single crystal of white-woven water with care. If I catch one in my hand, which must have glove encasing to prevent the ice ornament’s melting, I can see its powdery white pointed simple magnificence. If I take a magnifying glass outside with me and catch another snowflake, I can use the glass to catch a glimpse of the snowflake’s marvelous beauty. Perhaps the snowflake has a few pointed sides and an intricately rounded middle section from which these points jut. Perhaps the snowflake has fewer points but a depth supported by some almost microscopic crystal system. Whatever the case, of this I am sure: snowflakes are wonderful. How could chance produce such a thing?

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