Student Museum Musings – Ephemeral Snowfall

By Thomas P., Co-op Student

There hasn’t been as much snow as I’d hoped there’d be so far this year. These late November and early December days have only been homely to dead leaves and a frigid lakeside breeze. Though my walks throughout Lakeview Park and in and around the Oshawa Museum have surely been cold, the only snow I’ve seen is on the occasional Saturday night, or perhaps it was actually morning, that has lifted my snowy spirits.

In my early teen years, I was rather ambivalent about snowfall. On one hand, I always found it to be a lovely ambiance to go along with late nights reading or immersed in some game on my computer, but I have also never been a fan of shovelling said snow off my driveway. Even still, this year, my final year in high school and first year working a co-op position at the Oshawa Museum, I’ve found myself missing snow just that little bit more than usual. There’s something about the quiet of it all, the long dark sense of soft snowflakes falling on one’s face in the latter half of 10pm. Even when it does snow, at 2am when you happen to look outside after a long night, it doesn’t last forever, which is, of course, the nature of things. The snow only stays on the ground for as long as nature will allow it to.

A close friend of mine was the one who taught me of the word ephemeral, the definition of the word being “lasting for a very short time.” It’s a word that’s meaning can be found in many places. It can describe the summer months that go by so fast when you’re out walking, the autumn breeze on the shores of Lake Ontario that doesn’t last nearly as long as it should, the quiet moments in the winter snow that only last as long as it takes for the chill to set into your bones.

Nevertheless, life is ephemeral. There’s always little moments overlooked and underappreciated. Little pieces of history only remembered years later by the archives and museums. Life is an unfinished symphony. Everyone you’ll ever know, every human being you can possibly imagine, only fits into the smallest puzzle piece of life. A singular snowflake in the blizzard of all life that’s ever lived and ever will live. Yet time, time is not ephemeral. Time will move on and last as long as you and your future generations will, but life only lasts as long as we do. The sands, or maybe even snows, of life are always falling. In fact, Memento Mori! Remember death, because the snows of life and sands of time only last so long. It’s not long now until the non-metaphorical snow falls too!

So dear reader, I advise you to take some time, it doesn’t matter when, to simply listen. Listen to the gentle brush of water against cold sand. Listen to the squirrels running along the branches of the trees. Listen to the gentle thrum of car engines, and listen to the life around you. Make life something more permanent than snow. At the end of the day, the end of time, it’s your choices that shape your history. This is why we’re still learning and will forever still be learning from the past. Time is forever unfinished, and life is what you make from time.

Glowing Regards,

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