Did you know that every single snowflake is different? Think about it. Isn't that mind boggling? Most snowflakes, or crystals, have six branches though some have three. Wilson Bentley, better known as "Snowflake Bentley", lived from 1865 to 1931. He dedicated his life to studying snowflakes. Fascinated by the snow from the time he was a young boy, his world changed when his mother gave him an old microscope. After observing snow crystals up close, he noted:
"I found that snowflakes were masterpieces of design. No one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted . . . just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind." (quote from Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin)
As an example, look at the below four snowflakes. These are all printouts of actual pictures of snowflakes taken by Snowflake Bentley. (He had a special camera with a microscope at the end).
Amazing isn't it? Especially with you think about this only being four out of a countless number of snowflakes! Each are based on that hexagonal pattern but each are unique.
The Trisomy 13/18 children remind me of snowflakes. Each are similar but yet each are unique.
This month Lilly's memorial tree is covered with 127 snowflakes. Each one, like the above, is an actual snowflake picture. Each one has the name of a Trisomy angel child and the date they passed away.
I had already planned to make a snowflake tree with Lilly's Trisomy friends for this month. But my idea ended up taking a bit of a different twist for this year. I joined a group of moms in a Facebook project called Our Angels Light up the World for Christmas. We shared the name and date of our angel children and a grandma of a T-18 angel compiled them into a list for us. We each said we would honor each other's angel children on our tree.
Lilly's tree is completely covered on all sides by these 127 snowflake ornaments that I made:
It is beautiful and sobering. Especially when I think about all the other angel children I know who are not represented on the tree. (I just stuck to the official list this year.)
Hunter and I have thoroughly enjoyed Jacqueline Briggs Martin's book Snowflake Bentley and have read it repeatedly. It is a book for children but full of facts and we learned so much.
This quote from the book explains how snowflakes are made and why Snowflake Bentley never found two alike:
"each snowflake begins as a speck, much too tiny to be seen. Little bits--molecules--of water attach to the speck to form its branches. As the crystal grows, the branches come together and trap small quantities of air. Many things affect the way these crystal branches grow. A little more cold, a bit less wind, or a bit more moisture will mean different shaped branches."
Wow! God is so creative how He designed snowflake production!
The last time we played in the snow with Lilly, we had no idea just how amazing it was! (picture from 2010)