The Weight of a Snowflake.

On a cold, clear night, when the moon shone down, melting into a river of light upon the crystalline ground, setting fire to each individual snowflake in its path, a tiny sparrow landed next to a dove on a bare tree branch.

They sat together in silence for a while, as was their usual way, these two feathered friends. Peace fell upon them, and upon the rest of the inhabitants of the forest around them.

They knew that Brother Bear was sleeping, dreaming of summer berries. And that the beavers had hunkered down, safe and warm, in their island lodge of logs and branches. And, a squirrel family had tucked themselves away in a slumbering mound of furry bodies and warm hearts in their den in a hole in the tree trunk, just beneath the birds.

The sparrow turned to the dove and asked, “Dear friend, what is the weight of a single snowflake?”

The dove thought for a moment. “Well nothing,” he answered after a while. “A snowflake weighs almost nothing.”

The sparrow said, “I have a story for you then. I was flying in a great snowfall the other day, and took shelter in a fir tree, upon a branch protected from the wind by larger branches all around.

And I decided to count the snowflakes as they landed on my branch. One, two, three, four. One hundred and two, one hundred and three. Ten thousand and four. Three hundred thousand and seven.

And, do you know what happened when the three hundred thousandth and eighth snowflake landed on my branch?”

The dove looked at the sparrow, a question in his eyes.

“The branch broke,” said the sparrow. “From the weight of all of those nothings combined.”

The dove pondered this for a while, then said, “Perhaps all it takes is one more voice to be heard for peace to reign in the world.”