Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow Flurries and Cat Sighs

This morning I woke up to 20 degree temperatures and snow flurries. Sitting here with Bugsy in the ancient, oversized armchair, I look out at the snowflakes fluttering against the sunrise, and wonder why we call them flurries.

When I think of a flurry, I think of a quick burst of frenetic activity. These flakes, on the other hand, are very casual as they drift with no apparent aim. Most follow some mysterious, circuitous route, floating up, down and all around. Many chase each other and do aerobic acrobats before continuing on their individual journeys to the ground.

Hardly any of the snowflakes seem to be in a hurry, but rather float randomly, and lazily, around. In fact, it seems their goal is to stay in the air as long as they possibly can. They play on the wind, merry and unrestrained. Very few of them fall straight down.

So why the name ‘snow flurries’?

It has more to do with the volume, I think. There aren’t enough flakes to classify as a snow shower. And when a good, stiff breeze blows, they actually do hurry. Mostly in one direction, sideways, toward the ground.

Bugsy watches with interest, as do I. What does my cat ponder? Knowing Bugsy, he’s thinking of being outside, chasing those fluttering flakes.

Unable to do so, he takes a big, deep breath. And sighs.

Curling up on the back of the chair, he presses his cheek close to the window and naps, dreaming in his sleep, of the chase.

Me? I can’t help but think how like these snowflakes we humans are. And I long to be more like the playful, capricious flakes. And less like the ones that hurry to the ground.

Flurry: definition according to The Free Dictionary: flurry n pl -ries

1. a sudden commotion or burst of activity

2. a light gust of wind or rain or fall of snow

3. (Economics, Accounting & Finance / Stock Exchange) Stock Exchange a sudden brief increase in trading or fluctuation in stock prices

4. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Fishing) the death spasms of a harpooned whale
vb -ries, -rying, -ried

to confuse or bewilder or be confused or bewildered

[from obsolete flurr to scatter, perhaps formed on analogy with hurry]


Dolly said...

Bugsy knows how to enjoy the flurries doesn't he. I like the sighing bit. He looks the most splendid cat please tell him what a good boy he is from me.

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Dolly, yes, he does. He is very splendid. I will give him a special hug from you. :


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