Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Swirling Snow (Week 32 of Fireflies at Dusk: A 52-Week Project)

What moment in your Gen X childhood did you find peace despite the chaos around you?  What place did you find where there was silence in the midst of all the noise?

When I was a small child, my next door neighbor was just a year older than me.  The top of her dresser was something of an epic Gen X childhood junkyard.  Anything from Rubik's Cubes to Pet Rocks could make their way to the top of that piece of furniture.  It was covered in countless snow globes and all kinds of trinkets and small toys that could have been found as prizes at the bottom of cereal boxes - whatever was trendy, cool, or interesting found its way there. Sometimes we would be playing together and she would leave the room for a few minutes.  I would take advantage of the time and play with as many things as I could from the dresser top while she was gone.  I'd pick up her snow globes, shake as many as I could, and become mesmerized as I'd stare at them and lose myself in these little worlds.  There was such a  peacefulness in the movement of the snow swirling and falling.  I was sure that inside these little worlds --holding snowmen, little men skiing on slopes, and igloos -- were the safest, happiest, quietest places that could ever be.

This Christmas I wanted to get my daughter a snow globe as a stocking-stuffer.  It took me a while to find just the right one - one that I could pass on to her as a memento from my own childhood.  I wanted to give her a little piece of the time when I was young like her, and a little bit of the peace that I felt in the moment of the swirling snow.  While I was shopping, I found many ornate ones with music boxes built into them with all kinds of decorations on them, but this is not at all what I was looking for.  I wanted a snow globe made from nothing but plastic and water.  I wanted the kind of thing you buy at a truck stop or a dollar store.

This is how you digitally shake a snow globe: hit play.

I filmed this up close so you can see it the way it would be seen through a child's eyes who is shaking it and then holding it up at eye level.  This is proof that time goes by faster as you get older - when I would shake the globes as a child, it seemed like it would take a while for all the snow to fall.  As you watch this video, it takes but only a few seconds....

(c) 2011 photography and writing by Chloe - all rights reserved