One Hundred Names for Snow
I’ve read that the Eskimos have more than one hundred names for snow. The Native Hawaiians have dozens of names for rainbows…..aren’t both of these facts lovely?
Snow and rainbows are so vital and important in their beauty and meaning to these cultures that the people’s awareness of the subtle nuances in each flake, or storm, or misty bow of light, creates minute distinctions. That is sweet breathing into the moment of awareness. That is absorbing yourself in the wonder.
In northwest Montana we have myriad types of snow. The sweetness and peacefulness of snowfall and the aftermath of serenity are wondrous to me. I never get tired of snow. I certainly appreciate how having the snow lay its beauty down in all this space under the big sky contributes greatly to its gorgeousness. (Not so fun when it’s compacted into cities where plows and car exhaust quickly make it a burden and an ugly nuisance).
But not so here.
With the short days of winter, abundant fires in the hearth, and full days of snowfall, introspection comes easily.
This is the time of inner workings.
Miraculous growth can grace you in a molecular moment.
Being instead of doing. Allowing instead of trying.
Here are a few of my names for snow:
Snow Globe: Just like you’ve shaken a tiny globe of flakes, this continuous swirl is absorbing and consuming.
Showering: Like rain, the snow comes in a constant, powerful stream.
Wonder Flakes: These are those huge snowflakes, softly and slowly falling, beautifully absorbing.
Fairy Dust: Tiny, sweet whispers of snow crystals. Like being sprinkled with fairy dust.
Powdered Sugar: Dry, soft, quietly falling from a white sky.
Crystalized Magic: An icy sweet mist. When a sun shaft hits these airborne mist pellets it creates rainbows everywhere.
Pebbles: The weatherman would call it gropple. A little like snow hail, it’s icy and substantial. You can hear this one falling.
Popcorn: Large and soft, like pieces of styrofoam falling and leaving a quick layer over everything.
Baby Powder: A talcum grace covering you with magic.
What would you name in a myriad of ways, seeing all of its preciousness?