Angels in the Snow



Bright and early we’re outside all bundled up with the sun shining and mounds of snow still on the ground.  The cold air doesn’t even register against our bodies as it will many years later.  (“Wind chill” wasn’t invented yet.)    We frolic (who even uses that word outside of Christmas?!) and play with no aim or goal.  It’s winter and we’re outside with snow all around us with our noses matching Rudolph’s but it doesn’t register in our slow-evolving brains about hypothermia or losing a limb before our grade school graduation.  (The “Most Likely to Succeed with Only One Limb” is…)

Why create an angel in the snow escapes me.  No one told us to do it.  There’s no “snow rule” about creating something out of that white stuff that breaks parent’s backs and causes slipping cars to slip into each other.  How many characters could be chosen but it’s the steady waves of arms and legs that creates my temporary remembrance.  It’s an angel we wish to be remembered by before remembering became important.

My funeral finally arrives and, alas, I’m not there but wearing clothes someone thought I look good in.  (I hope it’s not a Roman collar with a rosary in my hands.)

Many wonderful words are said about me – some made up, others partly true.  “Angel” may not be mentioned but lots of angelic attributes will be awarded me.  I guess we always speak well of the deceased in the hope that the favor be returned.

I created many snowy angels.  The next day I’d forget where I made it or new snow covered my divine imprint.

We all wish to be remembered years after our death.  If you’re rich then “legacy” is used or you get a building to perpetuate your name.  (Try not to get a college dorm named after you, it may become known as the “party dorm” and your legacy takes on a new twist.)  Families are the best for remembering as long as they’re old enough to recognize you and young enough to talk about you when you’re gone.

It is this temporary life thing that gets us going.  We’d like to know that we were here, perhaps made a difference or at least didn’t make life difficult for someone.  The remembering of our lives is best kept within our hearts.  Let the survivors survive of us what they will, it’s up to their kind words.  It’s our remembering that carries us along – all the times regardless of their tones or moods.  A movie begins with a thought that I truly love, “It may not be the way it happened but it’s the way that I remember it.”  So true.

Creating a devil in the snow was also possible; you can do the horns once you bounce up.  But it was temporary angels created on those cold, snowy mornings along with lots of laughter and talking about absolutely nothing but seemingly important.  We run inside the house for hot chocolate and to warm up and hopefully carrying some angelic traits throughout our lives as well as a few devilish deeds.

Life is temporary.  Snow-made angels don’t last long.  Kind words at funerals end when the cake is served.  Remember and cherish moments in life but keep moving forward.  The neighbors might call for help if I ran outside now to make an angel in the snow.

books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS, available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon:
“Soulful Musings”
“Living Life’s Mysteries”
“Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings”

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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