There are a few peculiarities in nature that you can't walk by without touching. Pussy Willows are one. Cattails another. Various mushrooms, especially those growing on trees. Fuzzy caterpillars. Moss.
A few weeks ago we had freezing rain hit us. The day after, I was walking in to work along a row of winter bare trees. The sun was shining through the branches, it seemed, and it stopped me in my tracks. I took a closer look and realized every single tiny branch had half an inch of clear ice coating it. The trees were encased in crystal. I looked down the row of sparkling trees like inverse chandeliers, tinkling in the soft breeze. I took my mitten off and ran my finger along a branch, cold and slick. The beauty, like a dream, can't be real until you lay a hand on it.
I became aware of those walking past-urgent- headphones in, faces down, focused on getting caught up on tasks missed thanks to the ice storm the day before. They didn't notice the sparkle, the delicacy, the beauty. They didn't reach their hands out to feel the truth of it. I stood silently and watched the people. The brilliance was missed as it danced on their downcast heads.
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