We have had snow, or at least hail, recently. And several years ago we did have snow at the end of March. Today we made paper snowflakes by cutting holes from folded paper, imagining the holes to be things we had lost and missed out on during the past 12 months.

Many of these things were sad – friends not seen, events not celebrated, family not hugged, and people we have lost. Other things were ones that we have let go of and don’t feel the need to pick up again – busyness or constant travelling, for example.

Here are the instructions to follow yourself, as an act of prayer:

Fold a square of paper in half, and half again, forming a smaller square. Fold that into a triangle, and cut small holes out of the edges. When you unfold it you should have something that resembles a snowflake, however vaguely. Remember that all snowflakes are unique!

As you look at the holes reflect on what you have lost or missed out on this past year.

There will be some holes that you wish you can fill in again – like seeing loved ones or giving them a hug, or maybe travelling.

There may be some holes that can’t be filled in – either because of death or because the opportunity has gone.

There may be some holes you don’t want to fill in again! Things you used to do but now realise you have been released from. Things you don’t miss and don’t really want to go back to again, even when you can.

Spend some time asking God for his healing and consolation for the things that you grieve from the past year and also give thanks for the things that have been a blessing to you. Remember, too, all people who have died from Covid this past year, in this country and around the world.