The Snow Globe
The child shook the snow globe again. Once again, she watched as the multi-colored flakes swirled in the water and landed on the scene below. Every time, they landed in a different pattern. No matter what she did, she couldn’t make them land the same way twice. She wondered if that was true about real life, but that was too deep a thought for such a young mind to hold onto. She returned to just being fascinated by the colors and glitters of her favorite snow globe.
The woman stopped in front of the little store, captivated by the display of snow globes in the window. She had often related her own writing to the swirling of the snow; if you change one little detail, move a single snowflake, then entire scene is altered. Sometimes it is barely noticeable, and sometimes it jumps out at you, but it is always different. On a whim, she entered the little shop.
The shopkeeper glanced up when she entered, but made no move to interrupt her just yet. Perhaps his experience had taught him to let people look awhile before asking them to buy, or perhaps he just enjoyed her rapt attention to his wares.
She wandered slowly, carefully studying every globe. Each was beautiful in its own right, but none jumped out at her. She looked, enjoyed, and moved on. When she had perused every shelf in the little shop, she stood up and sighed. Straightening her shawl, she turned to leave the little store.
“Miss?” the shopkeeper called to her.
She turned his way, embarrassed. She had been prepared to leave without buying even a small token, despite having spent nearly an hour enjoying his offerings. Offering him a small smile, she walked over to his counter. “Yes, sir?”
He smiled then, a smile that seemed to hold all the secret hopes and joys of the world. “You missed one.”
He pulled a globe from behind the counter and set it out for her to see.
She gasped. The scene inside was of a little farmhouse, exactly like the one in her imagination. Instead of snowflakes, the objects which swirled around inside were little people, tiny images of the characters in her stories. She picked it up and shook it gently, and watched where the people landed. She did it again, fascinated by the different groupings of people as they landed.
“I think this one’s been waiting just for you.”
When she looked up at the shopkeeper, she noticed for the first time his twinkling eyes, his cherry-red nose, and his long, white whiskers. Her eyebrows shot skyward. The gentleman just chuckled, his belly shaking with his laughter. He reached for a gift bag and tucked the snow globe inside, then handed it to her.
“Merry Christmas, Kaye. Treasure them, and they will keep talking to you.”
Somehow managing to find her voice, the woman whispered, “Thank you, Santa. Merry Christmas.”
In a blink of an eye, she was standing in the snow outside of the shop. Its lights were dim, and the closed sign was in the window. In her hand was a gaily decorated gift bag, heavy with the weight of her enchanted globe. She hurried home, hoping with every step not to wake up and discover it was just a pleasant dream. After all, anything can happen at Christmas time, right?