Description: In the story 'The Snowdrop' by Hans Christian Andersen, a little flower lay inside its bulb, touched by the rain and sun’s rays. Eager to bloom, it stretched itself inside the bulb and broke through. The sun adored the snowdrop, kissing it and praising its freshness and purity. However, it was still winter, so the weather turned bitterly cold and the harsh winds scolded the snowdrop, saying that the sun rays tricked her…making her a 'summer fool' (the Danish word for the snowdrop flower). As was the custom in Denmark, a 14-year-old girl took this first snowdrop and sent in with an anonymous poem to a boy of the same age, a youth she wanted to be her 'summer fool'. The boy put the flower in a drawer with the poem, where it stayed until the following winter. When he rediscovered it, he burned the poem in anger while the dried flower fluttered to the floor. The maid who came to sweep found the dried flower, and put it between the leaves of a book of poems. Years went by, and the book stood on the shelves. A poet took the book off the shelf, marveled at the snowdrop, and observed that he, too, was a 'summer fool' before his time. Concluding that someone put the dried snowdrop in the book for reason, he placed her back among its pages. 'And the snowdrop was put back in the book; and it felt both honored and happy to know that it now was a bookmark in a volume of poems written by a poet who was the first to write about the snowdrop; a poet who, like the flower, had stood in the bitter, winter weather with a dream of summer in his soul: a summer fool. The snowdrop interpreted what she had heard her own way, as well all do.' (From Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories, translated from the Danish by Erik Christian Haugaard). Secret: Precocity will open the door, but ardency will keep you there.Keywords: Precocious; Early Bloomer; Fragile; Out of Season; Ahead of the Times; Emotional Sensitivity; Mercurial; Moody; Bursting With Life; Craving the Sun; Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Description: As the temperature warms, a snowman melts on a rock—but his spirit winks from the clouds, an assurance that he’s only changed form. A bluejay flies above the pond, about to eat a bug, while a moose stands in the water drinking. Secret: Once the rumbles of transformation settle, balance is restored. Keywords: Transformation; Irrevocable Change; Circle of Life; Passing Away; Saying Goodbye; Ending Something; Allowing Something to Die; Becoming New.
Description: A youth samples many cookies. On the cookie jar is a family of snowpeople, and the snowchild wishes upon a shooting star. Secret: Food is not a substitute for human connection.Keywords: Indulgence; Too Much of a Good Thing; Getting What You Think You Want; Eat, Drink and Be Merry; Desiring Satisfaction; Epicure; Foodie; Craving Fullness; Plenty; Sugar Rush; Dessert Before Dinner; Empty Calories.
Description: A Germanic goddess of abundance, Berchta governs a subterranean palace of beautiful gardens, which also serves as a transit area for souls. Holly and mayflower are among her sacred plants, and she often guards and cares for those who died as babies. In her book The Encyclopedia of Spirits, author Judika Illes notes that Berchta protects: Unbaptized babies; Stillbirths; miscarriages; abortions;Those driven to suicide by broken hearts or despair; Dead souls who have not received proper, respectful burials. Berchta is often honored throughout the entire Yule seasons, although January 6 (Feast of the Epiphany) is Berchtentagin Germany—Berchta’s Day—while the preceding night is Berchtennacht. Secret: The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Keywords: Protecting Babies; Summer Solstice; Nanny; Babysitter; Mother Figure; Matriarch; Kindly Aunt; Child Protective Services; Mender of Broken Hearts; Daycare.
Description: A performing snowman carrying an ice cane in one hand and a glittering top hat in the other stands on stage before a microphone as the audience reaches towards him. Canisters of confetti are about to go off, but placed among them on the right is a stick of dynamite. Near the TNT is a hand holding a lighter. Rhinestones glitter on the snowman’s jacket and a sunflower is pinned near his lapel. A bright spotlight shines on him, and he’s wearing sunglasses. Secret: Earthly achievement pales in comparison to spiritual fulfillment.Keywords: Spectacle; Performance; In the Spotlight; Idolize; Charisma; Sensational; Taking Center Stage; Displaying Your Talents; Dazzle.
Description: A snowman marionette sits with scissors clasped in his hands as a maquette opens a window. A little girl marionette has already snipped her way free, and encourages the snowman to follow. Secret: A rut is a grave with the sides knocked out. Keywords: Stay or Go; Fear of Change; Set in Your Ways; Choosing the Familiar; Playing It Safe; Blue Pill or Red Pill; Self-Doubt; Plotting Escape; Stuck in a Rut; Preferring the 'Devil You Know to the One You Don't'; Imprisoned.