It was a speck of dust far too small for the eye to see. It floated on breezes and was driven before gales along with thousands, millions of its fellows until it reached a cloud. The season being winter, the little dust speck was bounced about by feisty water molecules in their endless dance, but over time they started to stick to the speck.
Now the speck grew and grew and became an individual, beautiful snowflake. If you looked at it under a strong magnifier or a microscope you would see the tiny ridges and angles, all forming hexagonal symmetry because that’s the form that ice crystallizes into. As the snowflake continued to grow it soon became too heavy to be supported by the drafts in the clouds and started floating down to earth. With it fell it’s companions, all similar but different, to lead that short life snow has between falling and being melted by the Sun back into water and finally back to vapor only to repeat the cycle anew.
In those last few moments before the flake hit the ground and became part of a snowbank, it passed a window on a small two story white house with a black roof. The house was like many others with a small front yard and a back yard, and a little different with antennas for amateur radio coming off the roof to send those cousins of light out to make contact with distant kindred spirits.
Behind the window was a warm living room, a simple room with a few comfortable chairs and end tables and a couch. A television stood at one end of the room in a place of honor opposite a fireplace that stood unloved and unused. At that time the television was still black and white and very few programs were even produced in color to make a color tv worthwhile.
Inside the living room there was a little boy playing in an old appliance box. Somehow boxes are one of the greatest gifts that be bestowed on a child for they can become whatever the imagination wants them to be. It can be a car, a treehouse, a fire station, a school, a grocery, only limited by the small person inside it. For the boy it was more a hideout than anything else. He sat daydreaming while his parents watched tv.
His mom sat to the left of the TV wearing a dress she had made. She was a good seamstress and made a bit of money on the side working on clothing for the neighbors. She was always loving and kind and often showed it by cooking latkes and cookies and other yummy things.
His dad sat in the back right corner of the room. A big man, he worked as a corrections officer during the day but loved his ham radio, writing poetry and listening to music. He loved to sing and would do so at the drop of a hat.
In the boy’s mind a great contraption stood. It was made of tinfoil and cardboard boxes and wires. He saw himself crawl in one end of the machine and come out the other a little girl in a dress. It was all he really wanted, but he couldn’t say so, it was a secret and it was never to be spoken of. Nobody knows why the boy thought this. Maybe he started to tell the story when he was much younger and was told “You’re a boy, not a girl and that’s how it is” or maybe he just figured out from the messages the adults gave off like so many brainwaves that talking about it would bring trouble.
The boy did lots of things that were perfectly normal for a boy his age to do. Took things apart, played with the other boys on the street, and read lots and lots of books. Still, in those quiet times he had to himself he often prayed to God that he should wake up in the morning a girl with all his history changed to have made it all female. But in the morning he’d check and find that God doesn’t answer those prayers – at least not in that fashion.