It was an unusual winter. Hardly any snow at all in November, December, January. In February, a light dusting of snow fell one afternoon, just enough to heavily frost open grassy spaces. Not enough snow for sliding, not enough for making snowmen.

Two girls, twelve year-olds I’d guessed, cavorted happily below my window on the hillside, trying to catch snowflakes in their open mouths, giggling and pushing at each other, then embracing each other in great mirth. It was a beautiful moment to witness. It was joyful innocence at its finest.

Should I get my camera to capture this precious moment? I really should have. Such an image might be able to warm the hearts of others who had not been there to see what I saw. An imagined newspaper headline slammed my consciousness. “Man caught secretly photographing young girls!” The moment lost its appeal and its innocence. We all lost something in that moment.

I later gazed out my window to see that heart symbols had been stamped in the snow. The young girls had left their iconic calling cards and moved on. The image memory, seemingly, will remain forever, mine alone.

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