Everyone assumes that I was on Earth
the first time I saw snow. They
I was on Mount Seleya, on Vulcan. Admittedly it dow not get cold
there to snow often (only once a decade or so and then only for
a day or two) but it does happen. My mother took me to
the top of the
mountain on one of the days it did snow. I was six years, ten months,
three days, twelve hours and thirty
two minutes old. I was also
amazed. And cold.
I did not completely believe my mother when she told me that there
placed on Earth that were always snow covered. I just could not
picture such a thing, even when she assured me that she
had seen such
places with hew own eyes. Mother also told me of how, while she was
growing up in a place called North
Dakota that snow would start
falling in late October or early to mid November. That the snow
sometimes got deep enough
you could tunnel through it. Or build
structures like forts out of it. Or make dozens of snowmen. That
would be over thirty centimeters of snow on the ground
from November right through March or April. All of which was
for me to picture or believe until she took me to Earth to
meet her parents shortly after I turned seventeen.
still lived in North Dakota and it was late November when we
arrived. I spent most of the two weeks we stayed there convinced
I would freeze to death if I spent too much time outside and yet spent
most of the daylight hours outside with
my cousins. They taught me how
to make snow balls, which was perhaps a mistake as I became highly
proficient at both
forming balls of snow and throwing them on target.
That and my ability to hear things humans could not made me nearly
any time we had a snow battle.
In the evening, when my cousins and I came inside to thaw out, I would
look out my
grandparents kitchen window and allow myself to feel
wonder. And then I would apologize silently, in my thoughts for
my mother's word. For needing to see for myself that there
were places on Earth where snow covered the ground for as far
eye could see.
Yet even as I saw it, it was hard for me to comprehend that this
foreign strange substance
called snow was as prevalent in North Dakota
in winter as sand was prevalent in the Forge on Vulcan. I was also
attracted to snow. It fascinated me. Partly due to how
foreign it was to me. Partly due to how much you could do with it.
could form small projectiles with it. Scrub a cousins face with it (or
wake up your mother with it. Which I only
did once.) You could form
crude facsimiles of people with it or sculpt elaborate art out of it.
You could use it to
make igloos or make small forts. You could even
tunnel through snowbanks, just as my mother had told me you could.
fascination with snow, its incredible mystery ignited an
insatiable fire within me, a need to see more. A desire to experience
than I ever could if I lived on Vulcan. I began to long to go out
into the universe and see with my own eyes all the wonders
be discovered. It is perhaps odd or illogical that it is only when I
saw snow from horizon to horizon that
I began to want to become an
explorer, but that is what happend.
If it had not been for that trip to North Dakota
during winter I may
not have developed a need to see for myself all the extraordinary
phenomena that might be found
on other planets, within space and
within people themselves. If it had not been for that trip, I would
have been content
to enter the Vulcan Science Academy. I would have
been content with living in one city, on one planet, living a
logical, quiet and peaceful life.
That trip was the first unlikely step toward Starfleet, of a journey
me to you and a life full of chaos, flitting from planet to
planet, a life I now share with one of the most illogical humans
have ever met, a life of discovery and awed wonder. It is a lot
"noisier" life than the one I would have if I had
remained on Vulcan,
but I am more content now with you than I have ever been in my life
and I shall always be thankful
that my mother took me to North Dakota
during the winter so I could experience the wonder of snow for myself.