I was in a hurry. I was on my way to school. I was late. Pick up was in a few short minutes and I had been delayed when the dog suddenly decided to need a pee break at an unexpected time, so I was jogging through the cold winter air, trying to beat the bell. It was going to be close.
I rounded the corner at medium-to-top speed and was about to make a mad dash to the door, when I suddenly skidded to a stop. Yikes! I had almost stepped on one. There, on the ground in front of me, visible in the recent dusting of snow, was an angel. And I have to say, it was a pretty good one. When I make a snow angel, I am always struggling with the dismount. How do I get up off the ground gracefully without smudging, blurring, or otherwise ruining my creation? When you see a good snow angel on the ground, you don’t want to mess it up.
Yes, I was still in a hurry; you haven’t seen wrath until you have picked up your kindergartener 8 seconds after the bell has rung. So I sidestepped the angel and continued my beeline for the door. For about 3 feet. And that was when I saw the second angel.
Now, does having two of something make it less special? Can there be so much beauty in the world that it becomes mundane? Is it okay to smash through a second angel, knowing that there is a perfectly preserved first angel a few steps behind you? No. It was not okay. I could no more trample the second angel then I could the first one. Just because something happens every day, doesn’t mean it is not a miracle. So I jumped to the right just in time.
I almost landed on the third angel. And, finally looking up at the path ahead of me, I saw that the entire blacktop ahead of me was covered thickly with these magical creations. It was a literal minefield of childhood wonder. One false move and I was going to blow up somebody’s masterpiece. There was no other choice. I had thirty seconds left before time was up. I began to dance.
I hopped to the right again, and then leaped forward, twisting in midair to land carefully between two angels over towards the left. I spun around and made a diagonal pounce, narrowly avoiding a pair of delicate wings. I flung myself from side to side as I made my way through the gallery, finally reaching the other side with no cherubim or seraphim injuries. I had time only for a quick glance back for confirmation of my success as the muffled, frozen sound of the bell started ringing out and the door began to open.
I arrived in the nick of time, and Edward ran outside to greet me with an excited hug. I picked him up, turned around, and saw the doors of the school flung wide, and hundreds of children racing across what had, moments before, been dozens of snow angels. They were gone. All of them. And the funny thing was, it didn’t matter that they were gone. I had known that they were temporary all along, of course, and it made sense that the children who created them were the ones to destroy them in their rush to go out into the world and create something new. It was symmetry. It was balance. It was good. I started the chilly walk home smiling, happy for the moment I had spent dancing through angels.