24th of December: Holly Lisle
Holly Lisle writes fiction and builds courses that teach writing fiction, has more than a million books in print, and in her spare time is a gamer and Minecraft nerd who loves FPS and space sims, and who built a whole slew of life-sized spaceships and space stations and one largish city just so she could remember where things go in her stories. (At least that's her excuse.)

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Memories of Snow

by Holly Lisle

Before this moment, I saw things, ran beneath the sun, beneath the rain. I ate, played, learned, grew strong and fast, raced and climbed.

In uncounted ways, in countless memories, I embraced the world’s joys and sorrows, the passage of time, the flow of seasons. I remember the bright new growth of spring, the heat of summer in places where things grew… and in places where they did not. I remember the rich earth smells of autumn, and most and best, in the places and times where there was true winter and where snow fell, I remember snow.

Life is a funny thing, isn’t it? Every living creature is made of the same molecules as every creature that died before it. I don’t recall where I learned that, but learn it I did. And I saved it as a tiny treasure, a secret and lovely knowledge, that I was a part of the existence of the world and would always be.

The atoms in me were the atoms of kings and paupers, of heroes and cowards, of the good and the evil, but they did not define me. They simply connected me to everything that had come before, and gave me the chance to do what I would with those atoms, to leave something wonderful or something terrible at the end of my borrowing of them.

Then I would pass them on, and my atoms would be part of something else.

So I lived. And sometimes I lived well, and sometimes I lived badly.

So I died, and sometimes I did that well or badly, too.

But life, whether short or long, is lived just the same, and a whole life can be a moment or an eternity.

This life? It will be just a moment, and it will be an odd moment, for as I catch myself in thought, I realize that I awaken falling.

I fall from darkness and silence into scattered and colorful lights, toward houses and people in streets singing, toward a moment I have seen in other guises from other angles. It takes a moment, but I hear the echoes of other voices, recall the visions of long-closed eyes.

Kersfees, Kalikimaka, Weihnachten, Kalėdos, Krismasi, Nadolig, hari Natal, рождество, Christmas.

I fall, scattered and soft, into the singing, and part of me falls on upturned faces and warm places and melts away to nothing instantly. Part of me, though, gathers in a soft white blanket on the ground, and for a while I can hold on to all the lives I’ve touched and all the creatures I have been, and catch fleeting memories of life itself. I know that when the warmth returns, I will melt, and flow into the ground and up to the clouds, and become different parts of other lives everywhere once again.

But for the moment I know that what divides the world is illusion. That everything that has ever lived and everything that ever will is connected—is a part of Life itself. And Life is larger, older, deeper, stranger, and more wonderful than any one creature can conceive. But its wonder is not outside our reach.

All lives connect. All lives are small, and short. But Life goes on, and in its pieces, in the joy we bring, if even for a moment and if even to only a few, with the memories of what we were and the wonder of what we may yet become, we who live imbue every atom with wonder.

When you are someday snow, remember.

 

If you like this story, visit Holly Lisle's homepage.

 

It's Christmas Eve today, therefore you get a second story by Marya Miller.

 

© Holly Lisle, 2018ff