Do I Love Like a Snowflake–Or an Oak Tree?

Do I Love Like a Snowflake–Or an Oak Tree?

Growing up in the Air Force means moving from home to home. I moved fourteen times before  I became a teenager! My parents and siblings were my anchor in constant waves of change.

It was easy to make friends if we lived on the base. Everyone was in the same boat. We knew many would be gone in a year. No matter. We’d make the best of the time we had. We’d try to stay in touch. I recently made up a name for that. Snowflake Love.

Loving other people is like loving the first snowflakes in late fall. I’m overjoyed at the beauty. I run outside to catch a snowflake on my tongue. A tiny sting as ice hits the 98.6 degrees of me, and then it melts. But it was fun while it lasted.

After fifty years, I’ve lost touch with my friends who grew up Air Force. Those friendships melted away as fewer letters were penned, but they left me with wonderful memories.

credit to Heathyr at

Living in towns wasn’t so easy. Civilians tend to shy away from the pain of loving a friend and seeing her leave within a year. Most kids didn’t want to be close once they found out I was Air Force. That used to make me feel angry and rejected. It took well into my adult years to stop judging them and apply the concept of Snowflake Love.

I can love any friend where I am. If one of us moves away, I want to savor the friendship even if geography keeps us apart. But if a friend chooses to cut off communication in one sharp slice rather than endure the bittersweet ache of distance, I now understand the self-defense tactic of pain avoidance. Figuratively, they spit the snowflake out of their mouths because of the icy sting. I can choose to love them anyway. Even if they never know it. I can choose to remember how much I enjoyed the friendship, regardless of how long it lasted. I can choose to love like God loves. At least I can try. And I can entrust them to Him.

Friendships melt and disappear for many reasons. People change; they no longer connect like they used to. But for the sake of beautiful memories, I still want to maintain the friendship, even if we relate on a different level.

Very, very occasionally,  God provides a lifelong friend in spite of distance—a snowflake that never melts. At that point, the friendship has proven it’s not a snowflake at all. It’s a strong oak tree that has weathered time and miles.

Old Oak Tree in Florham Park, NJ by Leifern (via

My only remaining childhood friendship of the oak tree variety has lasted fifty-eight years. We have chosen to love each other through letters and phone calls. Rarely, do we meet up in person. When we do, it’s one of those delightful relationships that picks up where it left off. She has loved me when I wasn’t lovable at all, and I’ve loved her unconditionally as well. The roots of our friendship sink deep, and the blessings and trials through every season have only made it stronger.

I’ve shared my limited life experiences with you, and I’m interested to know what you think. How do you feel about snowflake friendships that have melted away? Do you have a lifelong friend? An oak tree?




About Linda Sammaritan

For years, Linda Sammaritan tried to be perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect teacher and crammed so many activities into her days that twenty-four hours couldn’t possibly hold them all – perfectly. She now lives by the motto, “relentlessly eliminate hurry.” Newly retired, Linda keeps the freezer packed with homemade take-out meals for her full- time working husband when she travels to visit children, grandchildren, siblings, and Mom. Read more about her faith and writings at


  1. What a creative way to view those fading relationships through life. You have let those years of transition become a positive force in your life rather than dwelling on the negative aspects that could have stayed with you through the years. How wonderful that you have that lasting, enduring friendship with a lifelong friend. And yes, we are so thankful that God is our friend Who will never leave us!

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