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During the holidays we went to Los Angeles to look for snow.

Yes, LA.

Mt. Baldy would have snow, we were certain of it. My kids, in their shortness and youth, have not yet made snow angels. They haven’t tackled their dad into a drift and haven’t been warned against the perils of eating the yellow stuff. Not the end of the world, I know, but still, it’s SNOW. Every kid should know in their bones the powerful chill and thrill of it.

We didn’t find snow at Baldy.

So we headed up north a ways to Olympia.

You’re right of course, had we really wanted to find snow we should have gone straight to Minnesota where, my husband assures me, kids are taught how to treat frostbite in tandem to their ABCs, but we were time-bound in our goal and our paramount motive for the trip was to spend time with family. So, we looked and hoped but didn’t find snow.

Wouldn’t you know, when we returned home to Shanghai, it was snowing. Nothing substantial, but still. To have searched half a world away for what already existed at home.

Prone to metaphor and looking for just such a one to think on, naturally I understood our search for snow within the context of story. As in, looking for a new story to tell. One can look everywhere and all over, but in the same spirit as “write what you know,” one’s new story is already at home within.

During Chinese New Year (year of the snake), our search and story will continue as we visit what freeze is nearest us, in Moganshan, the legendary bamboo forests featured in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. We have been promised that there at last we will find deep snow, even of the yellow variety.

Like this, but with snow and minus the ninjas.

Like this, but with snow and minus the ninjas.