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The narrator relishes the first snow of the year

When the snow first fell this year, it was in the night. I gazed at it, mesmerized.1 But because it was too dark, I couldn’t go out, so I could only hope to find knee- high snow the next morning.

Early the next morning, I jumped up from my bed, flinging open the blinds. The snow was like thick butter spread on every surface. I thought, This year I can finally go outside in the snow!

Last year, the snow was light, not even enough to make a snowball. But I loved snow, no matter how much. Just when I was stepping out to play, my mom had yanked me back.

“What are you doing?! We’re leaving for the ski resort in ten minutes! Did you even pack your things?”

Somewhere in the middle of the ride to the resort, I fell asleep. When I woke up, we had stopped for a break, and I shot out of the car. I shut my eyes, waiting for the snowflakes to land on my face.

But the snow never came. There was no more snow that year.

I remember a saying in Chinese—物以稀为贵(wù yǐ xī wéi guì): the less of something, the more precious it is.

I once read a short story by Ray Bradbury, “All Summer in a Day.” One girl missed the few hours of sun.

I tried to forget all this. Instead, I ran downstairs into the empty living room. The only sound I could hear was my dog, Fly, nudging the door, trying to get inside from the yard. I let him in and fastened his leash. Ignoring my growling belly, I grabbed my coat and my gloves and scampered out the front door.

Sunrise Sword

I twirled in the snow. Fly danced with me. He was like the sun, yellow fur against white snow. I kicked the snow, flinging a handful over my head, relishing the moment. Fly nudged me, reminding me of my excuse for coming out. I dusted the snow off my coat and tugged on Fly’s leash. The morning was peaceful and quiet. I skipped the entire loop around the block.

In the middle of the road, I stroked the snow with my bare hands. It was very cold, but I held on, afraid it might disappear if I let go. I walked as slowly as I could, enjoying the scenery. I stopped worrying about homework, school, people . . . but it had to come to an end.

When I came back to my house, I reluctantly went inside, sighing.2

Snow only falls a few times a year and goes away so soon. That is what makes it so precious, 贵. I have realized this: when something is less, cherish it. Make it special, and wait for it to come again.


1 To gaze: to look steadily and intently, especially in admiration, surprise, or thought

2 To sigh: to emit a long, deep, audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling