18 December 2012

Every Snowflake is Unique

"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together." ~ Anonymous

There are just no words to express the sadness and sorrow that we all feel over the tragedy that unfolded on December 14th to the littlest members of our society at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. We all want to find a way to show support for this community that will never be the same without these beloved ones in their midst, but how to do that?

{National Geographic - photo by Patricia Rasmussen}


I will not get into a rhetoric of the hows and whys and the should-of-been-dones. We need to find a way to get up and keep moving and along the way it is my hope that we will find solutions so that no one else will have to go through this nightmare again. But the most important thing is to honor these young lives and those adults that also lost their lives in this tragedy, to let them know that they are loved, to never forget them.

I just found out this morning that there is a campaign spearheaded by the Connecticut PTSA to show support in the simplest way: hand cutting snowflakes and sending them to Newtown so that the new school will be blanketed in white to show our support. You can read about it here.

Each snowflake is unique. God does some marvelous work with even the tiniest. They are something to be marveled at, cherished. Something to gaze at in awe of the masterful design. Seeing them individually you can appreciate their ornate intricacies, the thing that makes them stand out. They are minute sculptural masterpieces that don't last and that makes them even more precious. And seeing them as a whole you can appreciate the way they stick together and blanket the world in a soft hush of white.

The snowflake is the perfect embodiment of healing and remembrance for these tiniest and most pure ones. We need to see each of these people for their uniqueness that they brought to this world...we need to say their names out loud...we need to honor their beautiful intricacies. And now we can come together to blanket this school and community in a mantle of warmth and white, lending our shoulders to them to lean on as they find their way through.

{Snowflake image captured by Wilson Bentley in 1885}


Every year on the first real snowfall, I would stop what we were scheduled to do and we would get lost in a world of white. I would share with them the images that Wilson Bentley, a humble Vermont farmer captured in 1885 proving that no two snowflakes are alike. Imagine how challenging that must have been! I capture something so ethereal given the photographic technology of the day! It boggles my mind. Then I would break out the white paper and scissors and we would blanket the room in snowflakes. Even though I taught seventh graders - too-cool-for-school 13-year olds - I found that they were never too old to do this simple childhood activity.

I hope that you might join me in snipping a few flakes and sending them off to show your love and support to the people of Newtown. Here are some templates you might use to cut some unique six-sided snowflakes. (Click the links under the pictures to be taken to the websites of these images.)

{Snowflake ballerinas}

{Link to print out and cut six sided snowflakes}

{I knew there was a reason I just bought coffee filters..
good tutorial on how to turn coffee filters into flakes}

7 comments:

Patti Van said...

Beautiful post, Erin! I have a ton of coffee filters waiting for me! Thank you!

Bobbie said...

What a lovely idea!

rosebud101 said...

Erin, thank you for this post!!!

Angi said...

What an awesome idea! I, too, am at a loss for words regarding this tragedy. HEARTBROKEN sums it up. I am a preschool teacher in southern Indiana, and have tried hard to answer the most difficult questions my little ones have brought my way.....WHY? I think creating something beautiful for this broken community will help my little ones heal. Thank you!

Sally Anderson said...

The owner of a great LBS here in the Los Angeles area is from Newtown and actually went to Sandy Hook elementary school! She found out that a bead shop there was making snowflakes so she hosted a snowflake making party at her store on Sunday, providing all the beads and other materials. She had over 40 people there making snowflakes that will all be sent (probably already have been) to Connecticut. I love all the snowflakes, paper or beaded, going there. Great project showing love for a needy town.

Sally Anderson said...

The owner of a great LBS here in the Los Angeles area is from Newtown and actually went to Sandy Hook elementary school! She found out that a bead shop there was making snowflakes so she hosted a snowflake making party at her store on Sunday, providing all the beads and other materials. She had over 40 people there making snowflakes that will all be sent (probably already have been) to Connecticut. I love all the snowflakes, paper or beaded, going there. Great project showing love for a needy town.

necmettin karada─čl─▒ said...
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