It's been a very mild Winter here in central NJ, but we finally got a nice little snowstorm on February 12th, 2006...

After we shoveled 14 inches (35cm) of snow from the driveway, I took a walk to the back yard and sat down in front of this pretty scene to take a break.

As I watched the snow fall, that old adage popped into my head: people are like snowflakes! Each one so very unique and different, yet all constructed from the same stuff.

Then I thought, if this scene represented our entire planet and each of us were a single snowflake, look how beautiful the world becomes as we cover it! See how the new ones gently fall atop those that came before it. How one snowflake arrives and is immediately connected to others to form families, friends and societies... yet still retains its uniqueness. And maybe all of human existence can be likened to a single snowstorm. With flakes moving around pushed by gusts of wind. And natural disasters, like when a bird landed and flattened some snow. Or a snow-made disaster, when a few flakes caused an avalanche of destruction by the waterfall. Yet, when I stepped back to look at the big picture, I saw that it's still a very serene place... one I am very lucky to be part of.

And one day, the Sun will burn brightly causing humankind and all of its creations to melt back into the Earth. And in turn, the Earth will melt away as it is a mere snowflake in the universe. But the beauty that exists at this very moment will stay with each of us forever so long as we remember to step back and look at it... today.

It was one of those nice connected moments...

...and then the kids came around to the back yard (seen here) and we built a sled hill on the back deck and then had a snowball fight! My snow fort (or what's left of it) is the one front and center. The pond (which you cannot see) is located between that clump of snow-covered Japanese Pine and our house.

Here's a view from the back of the pond, where the water initially flows from behind some rocks and cascades down over the first falls into the upper pool.

And here's one more picture showing the water flowing down the newly reconstructed right-side waterfall (which drains the upper pool). If you look closely, you can see some (green) algae growing there -- like I said, it's been a very mild Winter -- I've even had to feed the fish a few times in December and January!

I had a couple other musings, although I wasnt sitting next to the pond... had this one as I was waking up in the morning:

To see ones understanding of life develop
is to witness the creation of the universe.
To live life in communion with that understanding
is to live at one with the universe.

    - Feb 19th, 2006

This next one I had on my morning drive to work, but it somehow ended up as a Haiku!

First we had nothing,
blindly happy but needy.
Society strikes!

They answered our needs,
but left angst, fear, anger, greed.
Look inside yourself.

Return to nothing.
Mindfully happy and free,
it's your turn to see!

    - Feb 21, 2006

Yeah, I know... you only came here to check out the pond! :-)

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