Catching Snowflakes

Bird Catching Snowflakes Watercolor Illustration

Our prompt of “Snowflake” today made me think of catching snowflakes on my tongue when I was a kid. Here by proxy we have this blue jay doing the same. I’m still not sure exactly why this was so much fun, but it was, and felt magical in some way. That’s often how amazing things work as a child. It doesn’t take much to find all of the wonder and excitement in the world. These days, of course, the snow that falls is continually less edible so other more adult concerns arise. When I was a kid, all snow was considered edible, except the yellow variety created by dogs, of course. And my mom used to make snow ice cream, which is still one of my favorite memories of this time of year. Though the flavor was basically that of vanilla ice cream, the fact that it was made from snow made it seem like it was one of the first gifts from Santa. It was something an elf might eat, so it made it that much more incredible. Everything from the texture to the taste is emblazoned in my memory and that’s always a good sign that something was truly awesome. Even today, if it’s snowing outside, I find myself titling my head upwards to perhaps catch one of those magical snowflakes on my tongue.

As a nearly 50 year old man, I do get questionable looks when I do this, but I simply look back innocently at those people questioning me. Can they really not remember? Has so much time passed that something once full of magic is now simply a ridiculous bit of folly? I can’t imagine these questioning people haven’t experienced this at least once in life. So I have to stop and wonder where all of the wonder has gone. Of course, my friends will simply join in, as we tend to make friends with those who understand us the most. And while that’s all well and good, the little kid in me wants those other people to play along as well. I smile at them and wave and then say, “you really gotta try this!” Sometimes, I can crack that adult veneer and get a little smile and other times I can get a complete stranger to stick out their tongue as the snow falls down and join me. Yeah, sometimes a woman might quickly walk away clutching her purse, but most of the time I can get people to remember. I know it’s not my duty in any way, or maybe it’s just all that elf food I ate as a child, but I simply don’t want anyone to miss out on a chance to have a little extra joy.

I’ve learned that there are indeed people who have well and truly grown up. They don’t relate to that wonderful little person they once were and no longer feel those strange impulses that can cause one to act a bit silly. They are all the people I’ve met along my journey in life who I’ve never been able to remind. And, I remember these people clearly and often wonder what they’re doing today. Like the little elf I am, I also feel a sense of regret. I wish I could have broken through and reminded them of those simple joys they once understood. Life can get stressful, complex and sometimes it’s just not fun at all. But, no matter what happens, it can never actually change us. That littlest self is always inside ready to come play when summoned. So, as my favorite holiday gets ever closer, I’m letting that little kid play all he wants. I still remember the magic. I don’t think I can ever forget what those moments once felt like. And I choose to keep that youthful joy in my life at all times. And I have to admit, it’s gotten me through some really tough times that Little Charlie would have never even understood. That’s why you’ll always find me finding a way to appreciate the cold of winter as I take a moment once more to enjoy the magic of catching snowflakes.

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Bird Catching Snowflakes Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook
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34 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 8 months ago

    The sad thing is that there are children who are simply little adults. Usually, because they’ve been taught that anything joyful is sinful or just foolish. Some people may not remember tasting snowflakes because they never did – even when the snow was all around.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Yeah, it’s true that some people were practically born adults. I for one will always be a kid! 😃💕

  2. Karen Fortier 8 months ago

    Fantastic Charlie! I’m glad that you remember doing these simple things. I’m afraid that that they are now lost which I don’t think is a good thing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah, I think many people still crave the simple things who can actually remember life when it was simple. It’s a gift to have that memory!

  3. Lisa 8 months ago

    Love it and will be happy to join you!! This year if it gets super cold, we will be blowing bubbles outside to see them freeze. It’s a thing. https://twistedsifter.com/2015/01/cheryl-johnson-captures-soap-bubbles-in-freezing-cold-weather/

    • Linda Calverley 8 months ago

      I shall have to try that, they look beautiful.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 And oh wow… now you KNOW I”m totally going to have to try that! lol

  4. Zertab Quaderi 8 months ago

    Another wonderful post and sketch from you! Lovely how you’ve kept the Little Charlie in you intact.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Zertab! 😃💕 hehe… yep… Little Charlie is pretty much in charge around here. That’s why things often happen in unexpected ways!

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 8 months ago

    Only you could go from a bluebird catching snowflakes to snow ice cream to wondering who is really grown up and who just faking it. I traveled to the East Coast for much of November, first time in more than 40 years, attended a family wedding and got to see most of my cousins, their spouses and kidlets, and my five aunts and uncles who are still alive, all now in their late 80s or early 90s. Saw my first snowfall in more than 30 years, and two deer lying just beyond my cousin’s yard, enjoying a morning respite from late autumn activities. What a magical moment in a wonderful vacation. Happy winter to you and Philippe.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this one! Wow… it sounds like a long overdue trip! So many things that hadn’t happened in years! That’s so wonderful!! Happy winter to you and yours!

  6. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 8 months ago

    Such a wonderful and wonder-filled bird aweeeeeeee !!!! Oh!!!! Its awesome that you know about snow cream too!!! It is fabulous!!!! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕Yay for snow ice cream! It was sooooo good!

  7. Loan Anh Pham 8 months ago

    Warm painting, I love it, Charlie ❤️

  8. Gary Middleton 8 months ago

    Nice picture Charlie. Beautifully coloured bird. Love the scarf.

  9. Carole McCleery 8 months ago

    You know Charlie, sometimes I think I don’t have time to read your posts, but I do and you always make my day with your writing and your art. I love little Charlie as much as I do the (not) grown up Charlie. Thank you xx

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Oh wow! That makes me SO happy to hear Carole! 😃💕 Yes, a crazy guy who posts daily is indeed tough to keep up with, but I’m so thrilled you’re enjoying these! You made my heart smile! And if you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll check out my podcast and the audio version of my stories here – https://doodlewash.com/sketching-stuff-podcast/

  10. Darlene Campbell 8 months ago

    Did I mention that your posts always make me think? They do!

    I’ve never lived in an area that gets a lot of snow so I’ve only seen it a few times. I don’t remember ever trying to catch it in my mouth. I don’t remember acting SEEING the snow fall. Just finding it on the ground in the morning. The one time it snowed when I was a kid, we managed to scrape together enough snow to make a skinny snowman! lol

    Your snow-eating jay is awesome!! I love your snowflakes and background, too! =)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Darlene! 😃💕 Thrilled these posts make you think! And think back… we all enjoyed very different childhoods, yet someone everything is linked in a way. No matter where we lived there’s something that’s always the same about being a kid. And, of course, refusing to ever grow up!

  11. LoriCtoo 8 months ago

    Oh I love him!!! I don’t do well with grown ups. I am a kid at heart and always will be. Especially at Christmas time! It’s so much easier to be happy.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕Yay to always being a kid at heart! I can’t imagine any other way to live properly.

  12. shawnthompsonart 8 months ago

    That Blue Jay looks snug and warm with that scarf!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Thanks, Shawn! 😃💕 I thought a little extra fashion was in order… to give a touch more color!

  13. adnanaslamdar 8 months ago

    Superb fine winter December snow and Christmas blue in scarf what a combination charlie

  14. Linda Calverley 8 months ago

    He looks very smart with his scarf on.

  15. smzang 8 months ago

    Charlie said, “you’ll always find me finding a way to appreciate the cold of winter as I take a moment once more to enjoy the magic of catching snowflakes.”

    and the room took on a joyful note. It is all a matter of perspective and our perspective is a matter of choice. Thank you for that wonderful reminder, Charlie. This was definitely a day that it was needed, and it worked!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 8 months ago

      Aww yay! Glad I could brighten your day, Sarah! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s true… it’s all just a choice. And I always choose joy!

  16. smzang 8 months ago

    and I love that blue jay’s scarf. It is both a fashion statement and an object utalitarian.
    Can you imagine what it would be like to fly and catch snowflakes on your tongue at
    the same time? When I look at that beautiful bird, I can imagine it!

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