Sunday, December 07, 2008

No Snowflake

There’s a wonderful Zen expression that says, “No snowflake ever fell in the wrong place”.

I first read it in The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen and from that moment I was struck by the poignancy of those words. The saying could be interpreted a number of different ways, but for me it means that everything happens for a reason. There are no mistakes despite obstacles, failure, or even tragedy. I know this is difficult to fathom when a toddler dies from cancer or a person is killed simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But things do happen for a reason. Events—good and bad—are meant to teach us something about ourselves and about life . . . experiences we share with our children, students, friends, and strangers so that they to0 may learn.

What I love most about this expression is that it also applies to my writing life. Heaven knows writers have setbacks in many forms, but I’ve mentioned before that being a writer is a tremendous learning process for me. Sometimes, though, expectation takes control over reality and defeat sets in.

But then I remember the snowflakes and I push on, knowing that I’m learning something every day. The reasons for these particular lessons might be beyond my understanding, but I have faith that the purpose is out there, as ubiquitous as those gently falling flakes.

To read excerpts of Fatal Encryption and Taxed to Death visit,

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