Focus on the beauty, the geometrical phenomenon of frozen water in spectacular crystallized form. Each one appears different from the next and captivating to behold. And while these minuscule bits of ice appear white due to the diffuse reflection of the whole spectrum of light through each tiny facet, they are actually quite clear.
As she sat staring out the window into the great expanse of snow, she allowed herself to dream of warmer times; times when she walked along the beach, allowing the wet sand to squish between her toes. Happier days when she took the sun for granted and breathed in the salty sea air and listened to the birds calling to each other.
She closed her eyes and envisioned the waves rippling along the shore where sandpipers raced back and forth, not to get swept away. In her mind’s eye, she could see the dolphins frolicking as they showed off, hoping to attract a potential mate while the manatees glided gently through the water.
She opened her eyes and sighed. It was still icy and cold outside across the barren land. Not a single bird, animal, or human was anywhere in sight. The silence was deafening and made her long desperately for the sound of the waves.
What terrible turn of events had ripped her away from the sun and sand? She could no longer recall. How odd! But she remembered how glorious life had been when her biggest worry had been whether to take her daily walk at sunrise or sunset. Now, she could see her breath against the window and pulled the blanket more tightly around her arms. The chill in her bones made her shiver, and she wondered if she would ever feel truly warm again.
Focus on the beauty, not genuinely symmetrical, but appearing to be so in the nearly perfect hexagonal shape.
Her teeth began to chatter as goosebumps danced across her arms and up her spine. Was this hell? No, it couldn’t be. Hell was supposed to be fire and brimstone, wasn’t it? Unless…
Perhaps each person was doomed to their individual worst nightmare in the afterlife. And wasn’t this hers – to be alone and freezing cold? Indeed, she couldn’t think of a worse punishment.
She pressed her forehead against the glass and felt the fierce ice pick headache many called brain freeze. This personal hell was infinitely more brutal than anything Satan could conjure. Using the blanket, she tried to wipe a clear spot on the window, to no avail. It was simply too cold.
She felt her eyes well up till her vision blurred. Do not cry! Focus on the beauty, the splendor of liquid moisture coexisting with ice. And still, a single tear escaped, rolling down her cheek. She half expected it to freeze there.
If only she could start a fire, but at this point, even the heat from the flames might not be enough to thaw out her stiff muscles. Soon, she would be unable to move as the temperatures continued to drop.
What would happen to her then? Would she perish? No! Don’t despair! Focus on the beauty, the lovely little crystalline points, and edges that glimmered as each unique flake landed on the frigid glass.
Focus on the beauty and how a particle of dust or pollen can be transformed when combined with frozen droplets of water. Maybe she could be altered as well? If she went outside and let the snow fall down upon her, would she become as beautiful as the intricate, one-of-a-kind crystals? No, outside was even colder than where she sat behind the frosted pane.
Her brain still functioned enough to know that leaving here to venture out into the vast tundra would mean certain death, not to mention the fact that her body seemed unable to move as if she were already made of ice.
Her thoughts became fuzzy as the temperature fell, both inside and out. Glimmers of daylight began to fade along with any faint hope that she’d be rescued. Without any recollection of how she got here, she wasn’t even sure that anyone was looking for her.
Heavy eyelids threatened to close, but would they ever open again if she allowed them to shut? No, don’t fall asleep! Focus on the beauty. But the crystal formations of frost no longer held any glamor or magnificence for her. All they did was remind her of how utterly cold she was.
Focus on the beauty. But what beauty? Think! Sunshine and blue skies, surf and sand, and the balmy breezes of home. Where was home? Her brain was becoming so numb that she could barely picture it. But deep down inside, she somehow knew this desolate frozen hell, wasn’t it?
Focus on the… On the what? Her face was so cold it felt hot, and her fingers could no longer move. She was afraid to cry lest the tears freeze her eyes shut. Everything hurt; why did she ache so terribly? Had there been an accident? Focus.
But nothing came to mind as she finally allowed her eyes to stay closed, and her thoughts drifted. Drifts, she giggled deliriously, like snow drifts. Was she out in the snow? No, don’t go out there.
There’s a light! A beautiful, bright light! If she could get to it, maybe she’d feel warm again.
“Why isn’t she waking up, doctor?” he said as he held his wife’s hand, willing her to open her eyes.
“She hit her head pretty hard when she fell on the ice. Still, her vitals look stronger. All we can do is wait.”
“Please,” the man begged. “Don’t leave me. I need you.”
Suddenly, she heard a voice and focused on the beauty of its rich deep tenor. She ran from the light toward the sound.
Her eyes fluttered open, and she squeezed his hand.
“I thought I’d lost you forever.”
“I was cold and afraid, but I focused on the beauty and found my way back.”