16 January 2010

A brief life...

It was cold when I was born, high up in the supersaturated clouds, a fleck of dust as my heart. As I coalesced into being I drew molecules towards myself, pulling them in, holding and moulding them and building out from my core. I built with symmetry, keeping my essence close to me, embellishing with feathered branches as I came to my full size.

I became aware of others around me, most of whom had a broadly similar shape to my own. We were kin, clan, our hexagonal centres fringed with delicate structures at each apex, with our markings, our scintillant prisms arranged to each individuals taste.

After the building, the socialising; we swirled around each other, dancing, drifting through the clouds, adding complexity, final touches to ourselves as we pirouetted together. Such a brief time, but glorious, before the air shifted and we were cruelly jostled, flung about and out, and my downwards journey began.

Oh, that dizzying fall!

At first I panicked, tumbled over and around my six-fold axes, and then as the others were flurrying alongside me, this gave way to excitement at the speed, the beauty of us. The vectors of my progress, swooping paths through the layered atmosphere, were beautifully described arcs. Caught up in my own adventure I failed to notice that the others were on subtly different paths until it was too late, they were already too distant.

But I was not alone, there were new companions plunging downwards with me. They were strange, smooth and shaped like needles with none of the branching embellishments that marked my kin. To me they seemed brutal and machinistic, they had made their shape solely for the purpose of darting below as fast as they could. Their birth could not have been the delicious dance we had, but a sullen extrusion. They would not have whirled with each other to celebrate their glowing, growing grace.

I wished I had not ended here with them, all too soon the air ran out and our fall was halted by an impenetrable vast blankness, our surfaces gripped it as there was nowhere else to move too. I was stationary, such a dreadful state to contemplate that I had never done so. How could it be that I could no longer fly, what was I now that I was no longer a creature of the air and its currents?

The sharp needled clansmen with me were similarly horrified, we huddled together at the end. Huddling closer and closer as the molecules of air were squeezed away from us, we lost our boundaries and our structure and melded to each other, no longer individuals but amorphous and indistinct. From the dust at the heart of all of us, we were now a fresh dusting of snow on the ground.
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