The Thing That Fell

It drifted slowly downward on a slight breeze; not sluggish, but wafting lazily toward the earth. It did not know where it came from and it was afraid. The sky seemed so vast that it was confused as to its own existence.

 

It realized that it was not alone. There were others like it that were sharing a similar journey. Another like it fell near it for a while and was studied meticulously by it. It knew that it had found a friend, and learned much from this other like it.

 

Suddenly a gust of wind separated the two and it once again felt alone. But there were still others around it. They were different and unique, but it got along with them for a while. Some were blown away sooner than others, but it learned to accept these changes as normal and natural. This continued for quite some time, others like it drifting in and out of its path. Some stayed with it for some time, others for fleeting moments.

 

Ever so slowly, it gained an understanding of its existence. Its purpose was to fall. It had no business in attempting to not fall, gravity was constant and unchanging, unrelenting and unforgiving. At times the wind would alter its course or toss it up in the air, but always it began to fall again.

 

It began to realize that eventually the sky must not be infinite. The fall must end. It panicked, spinning wildly about on the wind, trying to grasp at the sky itself. When this proved fruitless, it subsided and let the wind take it.

 

It began to wonder what its legacy would be. Would it be remembered by the others like it? Was it possible that it was meant for more than just falling? Perhaps it was supposed to enjoy falling; to relish the feel of the passing wind. Perhaps it was meant to appreciate the long and the fleeting interactions with the others like it.

 

For a moment, it regretted its choices. It regretted its lack of joy in its existence. Regretted the others like it that it had neglected. But it also found peace in realizing that its existence in itself glorified whatever had made it. Simply by falling, it became exactly what it was supposed to be.

 

In a rush it realized it could see the ground. The end was coming. But it was not scared or afraid. It understood its purpose. Its purpose was to fall. Yet not just to fall, but to fall well. It enjoyed all the more those last fleeting interactions with those like it. And then as suddenly as its existence began, it ended. The snowflake lighted upon the nose of an old man, and he smiled.

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