by Doris Farley
During the 1987-88 school year on a cloudy, cold winter day in my third grade classroom, an enchanted moment came very unexpectedly.
The students were at their desks, heads bent over their school work.
The atmosphere of the room was calm and quiet. I was catching up on some paperwork at my desk and I was the first to notice snow falling outside the classroom window.
As time went on, the snowflakes started getting larger. Finally, the snow caught the eye of one or two of the students and the usual commotion about snow began.
As we were all watching the snow fall, the snowflakes became larger.
I knew the children had never seen such large flakes, so I gave the go ahead for them to watch from the window.
There was a rush to the window; finally, everyone was able to squeeze together for a good view of the snow.
We stood and watched the snowflakes fall for some two or three minutes.
The children said that the flakes looked like feathers. The flakes got bigger and bigger until it looked like someone had picked feathers from a huge white swan and was throwing them to the wind.
The flakes floated slowly down to the ground, twisting and turning in the air. The children and I were mesmerized. We would catch a flake with our eyes and follow it for a long time until it landed on the ground.
At first, the children were very noisy, oohing and aahing about the size of the flakes.
Then the room grew silent, as we all became enchanted by the enormous feather flakes.
I myself stood in awe of the sight. Then I turned my eyes to the children, they were standing very quiet, totally captivated by the magical size of the slowly falling snowflakes.
Time seemed to stand still; there was no noise, only a group of children and their teacher sharing a magical moment. Everything in the background seemed to disappear; all you could see were the slowly falling snowflakes.
While we were watching, the huge snowflakes stopped as quickly as they had come. The magic of the moment was gone.
We all wished that the feather flakes could have stayed longer, but that is the way of enchanted moments, they seem to end as quickly as they begin.
My daughter Melanie was in that class and we still remember and talk about the day we saw the feather flakes.
I have never again seen snowflakes as large as those, but this morning I did see some very large ones.
The sight of those snowflakes took me back to the day my class and I watched those feather flakes outside our classroom. I now realize what we shared was one of those rare moments etched in our memories that makes us feel spiritually connected to each other.
Special memories like the feather flakes have made me become more focused on the present. Memories like those make me remind myself to capture and enjoy the moment, because all we possess of the past are the memories we have today.
Doris Grider Farley
(Originally written – January 2001)
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