(A story by Marilyn Jones, read at the Family Service 5.2.17)

Once upon a timeSnowbear

There lived a little snow bear.

He and his mother

Lived in a den built in the snow.

He had been born in the den in the warm and dark

Snuggling up to his mother for milk, and for sleep.

They slept for the whole of the deep winter.

Very early in the spring they became hungry.

His mother broke open the snow door to their den

And sniffed the air.

It was snowing, dainty little flakes of snow.

But the air wasn’t so cold and the breath of spring

Seemed very inviting.

The little snow bear frolicked out of his cozy den

Full of excitement at his first sight of snow.

He breathed in the fresh coolness for the first time

Patting the snowy hillside with his paws

Trying to catch the snowflakes as they wafted down.

One extra large snowflake landed on his nose

Giving him a very special view.

And then, in a moment, as he breathed

Clouds of milky breath, the beautiful snowflake

Melted.

He began to chase the snowflakes,

batting and patting, swiping and boxing,

juggling the white, fluffy, icy stars;

every one different, every one beautiful,

every one with six points, lacy and delicious.

his tongue exploring each one.

He lollopped and jumped

rolled and tobogganed

chased and snuffled for joy

in the snow.

Nothing else seemed to matter

to this young and beautiful snow bear,

just for that first day.

Every year in the deep winters following on

the young snow bear would sleep.

And every year at springtime

He would remember, at the time he felt hungry,

that the snow was waiting for him.

His delight was never quite the same

as it was that first year, that first newness.

But he would still frolic in the snow as he emerged in the spring, all ready to juggle snowflakes! The old Snow Bear still loved chasing these unique little snow stars.

Perhaps we are all like the snow bear. Each day is a day to juggle a new set of snowflakes, and each day they melt.

You can never catch them all! But you can let them bring you joy.

They are beautiful. They are all different. And like us, they change with time.

So very soon, they melt away into water,

and water is the gift of life.