It snowed in thick flakes the other day. As I looked up at the sky from my window, with ever more fluffs of white tumbling towards me, I felt that rare marvel at the planet we live on. If all those bouncing snowflakes and their sheer endless supply aren’t one of great manifestations of our universe’s abundance, I don’t know what is.

It reminded me that one item on my summer list is always to lay down flat on my back in the grass, at least once, and to look up into the endless blue of the sky. Looking up into the snow flakes is winter’s equivalent gift, just as looking up at the never-ending twinkle of the stars is the gift of a clear night. If I had really been up to it, I would have bundled up and gone outside to lie down in the snow to look up into the never-ending tumbling white. I was a bit too chicken for that though. I might leave that till summer as laying down in the grass is so much easier, or maybe I’ll be spirited enough to get my son to do snow angles with me one of these winter days.

This reminds me of a spirited friend of mine, who once, during breaktime at our Spanish language school in Malaga, Spain, lay down flat on his back in the middle of the tiled courtyard. When I asked him why the hell he was laying there on the floor, he said, “So that I know tonight, at the party, what it was like to lie there on the floor.”

It’s a spirited thing to do, to lie down flat on the ground. I bet my friend was also doing it to look up, to take a break from the demands of the world around him and contemplate, for a few moments, the vastness of the universe.